Letha's Grand Prize
Victorian Raspberry Chocolate
(Grand prize at the Valentine’s Chocolate Festival, Hermann, MO 2004)
This is not a "fast" cookie recipe, but they are worth the effort, the finished cookie is Wow in taste and looks!
What You’ll Need:
Every Ingredient MUST be at Room Temperature !!!
1/2 teaspoon baker’s ammonia
2 Tablespoon milk
6 large eggs, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar, about 1 ½ lb
1/2 cup butter, softened but not melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon raspberry oil
2 lb. sifted cake flour (Softasilk or Swansdown)
more cake flour as needed
2- 12oz package real chocolate chips
½- 1 teaspoon raspberry oil to mix with choc chips
1. Dissolve baker's ammonia in milk and set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer, beat eggs till thick and lemon-colored (15 minutes DON"T SKIMP on beating).
3. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar.
4. Then add the softened butter.
5. Add the baker's ammonia and milk, salt, and raspberry oil.
6. Gradually beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, then stir in the remainder of the 2 lbs. of flour to make a stiff dough.
7. Turn onto floured surface and knead in enough flour to make a good print without sticking. This makes a stiff dough like play dough, add more cake flour if necessary.
8. Separate a portion of dough and Cover remainder of dough in bowl with a damp towel.
9. Roll out dough approximately ¼ to 3/8 inch thick. Use a cookie mold or press. Brush cookie mold with a faint dusting of flour, then imprint dough with your press (mold), cut around dough images.
10. Place cookies on cookie sheets lined with baker's parchment and let dry for 6-10 hour. .(I usually let my cookies dry overnight, the humidity in Missouri makes the drying time take longer) Drying saves the picture while baking.
11. Bake in a 250 to 275 degree oven for 8-12 minutes. Cookies need to bake slow and will still be white in color when done. The bottom of the cookie will be white or barely brown in color. To test for doneness, break one of the cookies apart.
12. Let cookies cool.
13. Melt chocolate chips in top of double boiler; and add ½ to 1 tsp raspberry oil, stir well. Spread melted chips on backs of cookies. If you wish, then dip in granulated sugar.
14. Let cool, you may briefly place cookies in the freezer to help firm up the melted chips.
Serve with your favorite wine, for an elegant after dinner dessert. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
These cookies freeze well, store in a heavy plastic bag inside an air tight container to freeze.
Generally, the larger the cookie, the lower the temperature, the longer the baking time. The smaller the cookie, the lower the temperature. But here are some considerations and guidelines for various sizes.
Ovens vary; some run hot or cold and others have “hot spots”. As a rule, electric ovens have more even heat and are drier, but this is not always the case. Thus, electric ovens may bake the cookies more quickly. Be sure to let the oven get back to the same temperature after opening the oven door and open and close the oven door as quickly as possible. Use the middle rack in most instances – the heat tends to be more even there.
Be sure to bake only the same size cookie on a single baking sheet.
The first time you bake a new size cookie, bake a single test cookie. Repeat until you get it right. Better to waste a few cookies than a whole tray. You want the top of the cookie to be very white and the bottom to be slightly golden. Break the baked test cookie in half and make sure that the cake-like texture is fully formed and that no doughiness remains; this is especially important when you use hartshorn (you want to completely bake out the ammonia.)
If you roll cookies very thinly, reduce the temperatures and baking times. If you have thicker cookies, you may need to add 1 to 3 minutes to the baking times.
Examples of Baking Times
Below are some examples of some Springerle sizes and suggested temperatures and baking times. These guidelines assume a cookie thickness of 3/8 to 5/8 inches:
Approx 1.5 to 2 by 2 to 2.5 inches – a very common size found in multiple image presses. Examples are M7615 Cassie’s Garden and M4028 Mixed Motifs.
Bake at 300 to 325 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Approx 1 x 1 to 1.5 inches. Example is M5736 Petting Zoo.
Bake at 225 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.
When baking very small Springerle, think about popcorn; you want the heat to penetrate very quickly to the center of the popcorn kernel to “pop” or burst the kernel. You do NOT want that to happen to your Springerle, so lower the temperature for slower rising.
Approx 2 to 3 by 2 to 3 inches – a common size of single image cookie molds. Examples are M5383 Winter Sleigh Scene and M7444 Jane’s Bouquet.
Bake at 300-325 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes.
Approx 3 x 5 inches and larger.
Bake at 290-300 degrees F for 14 to 16 minutes.
Just increase time on even larger cookies. Do not go above 300 degrees as you will not be able to control the browning as well. Larger cookies-think lower and slower.