Here’s the cookie I coveted most on those cookie plates growing up: Springerle. Springerle are a traditional German cookie that are impressed with images that they retain even after baking. They are very light and anise flavored, which many people don’t care for, but which is a big part of why I like them (as will come as no surprise to those who know about my passion for black licorice jelly beans). They are quite time and labor intensive to make and require special equipment (Springerle rolling pins or molds), which made them relatively rare on the cookie plates of my youth (and virtually unseen by me since then) and therefore all the more prized.
I’m not making Springerle myself for the blog–I don’t have the propper equipment, couldn’t justify buying a piece of exotic baking equipment I’d only use (at the most optimistic) once a year, and don’t have any family recipes for Springerle (although a number of them seem to be available on the internets).
Fortunately, flickr user Kitty Sonnenschein did make Springerle, and documented the entire process step by step in a flickr photo album that you can see here. She also kindly made her Springerle photos available under a Creative Commons license, and that’s what you see above.
Since I’m not making Springerle, I’m unlikely to get any this year, although I’m still holding up hope that maybe someone will give my parents some on a cookie plate and they’ll save them for me when I get home. If you do have access to Springerle, please enjoy them doubly for me!