traditional christmas cookies – a recipe for you

by Molly @ MFCH

What better way to lead up to the holidays than by filling the house with the sweet smell of traditional Christmas cookies baking in the kitchen!   I love the way that a perfume can bring back memories in a flash, and I think that this recipe in particular is all about the Holidays.

Here at MFCH, I am very fortunate to have a small but spectacular team working with me.  Emily and Molly are busy bees, handling emails and helping me organise the tours and the boxes.  Keeping me on the straight and narrow and also helping out with some of the photography and video filming.  But of course they both have lives outside of MFCH!

Today this blogpost is written by Molly who loves to bake.   She actually runs her own baking classes in Versailles and all over France, and you can check out her other work on her blog right here and instagram for a peek into life in Versailles and her baking escapes.

Springerle cookies with greenery

This recipe is for Springerle, traditional Christmas cookies in the Alsace area of France, where I currently live, and in Germany and Switzerland. The cookies are unique as they hold delicate designs from a cookie stamp making them utterly breathtaking. The process takes almost two days, but for many families here, it’s part of the Christmas tradition, the long wait adding to the excitement and revere. Each cookie is lovingly made with family, to send as gifts, or to hang on the tree.

 

Springerle with reindeer design hanging on a christmas tree

The traditional flavor of the cookies is anise, with seeds or extract. If you are not partial to this flavor (like me), leave it out and add another extract like lemon or orange, or different spices like gingerbread spice.

You can find the molds at cute stands in the Christmas markets, the walls lined with different designs hanging from little hooks. You can buy them online here as well.

 

Springerle christmas cookie mold and cookies on a baking tray

 

The Springerle Recipe

The dough itself is rather simple. Start with four eggs, and the whisk attachment on an electric mixer and whip until fluffy. Slowly add 500g of powdered sugar and keep whisking for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture resembles a buttercream. In the last 5 minutes of beating, add a pinch of baking powder and a tablespoon of kirsch. Then slowly add in 500g of flour and anise (if you choose).

Then the dough must rest, for 12-24 hours, well covered with plastic wrap touching the surface in the refrigerator. This allows the dough to harden and take on a sturdier texture, which is important when you press the design for the springerle, it also develops any flavoring you’ve added.

 

Traditional Christmas Cookies from Alsace Springerle before baking

 

Once the dough has rested, roll out small pieces at a time on a cornstarch-dusted surface. Dust your mold with cornstarch (this keeps it from sticking), and the press the mold into the dough. Cut around the shape and then lay on a cornstarch dusted surface to rest again for 12-24 hours. Leave them out on the countertop, avoiding a drafty or damp area. This is very important as it drys the cookie, again ensuring that the stamp will stay defined.

Before baking, place on a wet paper towel to moisten the bottom of the cookie for about 30 seconds or so.

Place on parchment (you can dust this with a seasoned sugar) and bake at 145C/290F for 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely, then remove from tray, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Merry Christmas!

x Molly

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Traditional Christmas Cookies: Springerle | My French Country Home

Springerle cookies with greenery

Springerle: Traditional Christmas Cookie

What better way to lead up to the holidays than by filling the house with the sweet smell of traditional… christmas traditional christmas cookies – a recipe for you European Print This
Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 500g (4 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch
  • 500g (4 cups) flour
  • anise seed or other flavoring (to taste)

Instructions

Beat the eggs with the whisk attachment until fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and whip on medium speed for 10-15 minutes until the mixture resembles a buttercream. In the last 5 minutes, add the pinch of baking powder, and tablespoon of kirsch.

Slowly add in the flour and flavoring of your choice. Then wrap well with plastic wrap touching the surface and chill several hours or overnight.

Roll out small pieces at a time on a cornstarch-dusted surface, and press the mold into the dough. Cut around the design, and lay on a cornstarch dusted surface to rest for 12-24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 145C/290F. Place each cookie on a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds to moisten the bottom of the cookie and then transfer to a parchment lined tray (this can be sprinkled with a seasoning of choice).

Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cookie will rise on a little foot, and be just slightly brown on the bottom when done.

Keep in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy!

25 comments

Mary Katherine Graetz December 17, 2018 - 6:50 pm

These are gorgeous and look delicious! Thanks for the link of where to buy the molds – very tempted for next year. I thoroughly enjoy your slices of la vie francaise! Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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david terry December 17, 2018 - 6:55 pm

Oh, how lovely (and a very far cry from the Christmas cookies I grew up with in East Tennessee during the 1960’s and 70’s).

Oddly enough?…..Facebook and my spam-box have, just these past three months, been flooded with advertisements for rolling pins that supposedly produce dozens of delightfully imprinted Christmas cookies. Apparently, the notion’s just arrived (and, predictably enough, been suddenly and intensely commercialized) in the USA.

I’m lucky…….A longtime friend of mine here in the USA is originally from Alsace/Lorraine (a small town outside of Strasbroug, to be precise) and has been making these for friends, for years………with, as you suggested, small molds that, I gather, belonged to her grandmother.

I’m lucky, I suppose, in that, unlike the vast majority of Americans, I happen to like anise (Flavigny and all that).

thanks for the evocative posting,

David Terry
Quail Roost Farm
Rougemont, NC
USA

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Molly @ MFCH December 17, 2018 - 7:32 pm

Hi David! Yes, there are rolling pins – new and old! – that are specifically for these cookies. For the rolling pin, I’m thinking you would have to very liberally dust it with cornstrach, then roll one full roll, and then start over to make sure it doesn’t stick. Could be really fun for a pie crust too!

I love the idea of the cookie molds being a little collectible, like an ornament, added to each Christmas season, to amass a fun collection with lots of memories du coup! (even more special when they’re from a grandmother!)

Glad you enjoyed the post!
Best,
Molly

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Ellen December 17, 2018 - 6:56 pm

Could you pls rewrite the recipes you post with North American measures ie cups, teaspoon, tablespoon, 1/4, 1/2 tsp tbsp. The conversions are never exact also how much essence should we adThanks so much.

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Molly @ MFCH December 17, 2018 - 7:23 pm

Hi Ellen! I just added in the measurements in cups. I would recommend though if you are having problems with the recipe, to get a scale for better precision. For the essence, I would start with 1/4 teaspoon and then taste the dough and add more as you like! Just remember the essence can be very strong, so it’s good to start with a small amount and then increase to your preference. Hope this helps and happy baking! best wishes, Molly

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Cathy December 17, 2018 - 7:24 pm

Merci pour le lien avec ces superbes moules.
Pouvez vous également donner cette recette en français….
Merci beaucoup.

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Colleen Taylor December 17, 2018 - 7:36 pm

These are so pretty & oh so elegant Sharon & Molly! Thank you for the recipe & now i’m jumping over to view Molly’s beautiful blog. X

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Anneli December 17, 2018 - 8:39 pm

Thank you for the recipe .
These look so pretty, and I’m sure they are delicious , but how do you hang them on the tree when there is no hole for the ribbon to go through ?
If you do this after you have baked them, don’t they crack ?

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Molly @ MFCH December 18, 2018 - 11:25 am

Hi Anneli! I would put the hole for the ribbon in right after you cut them out, and before they rest for the 12-24 hours before you bake them 🙂 Hope this helps! xx Molly

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Bronwyn Lee-Coward December 17, 2018 - 8:50 pm

Hi Sharon and Molly, just love this idea and the wonderful sentiment and tradition that has come from the baking of the cookies. My 6 year old grandson will enjoy helping me make cookies in the next couple of days when he comes to stay with me. Just one tiny question, is powdered sugar what we refer to in Australia as icing sugar? If you’re unsure not to worry I’ll Google it. Happy Christmas to you Sharon and your talented blog helpers.

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Molly @ MFCH December 18, 2018 - 11:24 am

Hi Bronwyn! Your grandson will have such a wonderful time making these. Yes, powdered sugar is the same as icing sugar or confectioners sugar 🙂 Merry Christmas! xx Molly

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Brenda June 25, 2019 - 12:15 am

Where can I get the little cookie molds for the Springerle

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Lynn Christensen December 17, 2018 - 9:04 pm

Oh my they look amazing and I’m so excited to try make these. So gorgeous. Thank you both, they could very easily become a new tradition for me. Xoxo

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KImberley December 17, 2018 - 9:14 pm

These are so pretty! I love the tradition of the whole family making these. AND, who would not want these for a gift? Thanks for sharing! Best, Kim

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Hurder Kathleen December 17, 2018 - 10:17 pm

I bought the rolling pin on line this year with reindeer embellishments! I also have a Santa stamp I’ll use! I’m so happy you published this recipe as my grandmother’s side of the family is from Alsace-Lorraine! Christmas blessings from California!

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Lorraine Ingram December 17, 2018 - 11:24 pm

can’t seem to find the reindeer mold. Can you give me a number or something.

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Molly @ MFCH December 18, 2018 - 11:51 am

Hi Lorraine, I don’t have a number :-/ Sorry about that! When I first purchased it at the Christmas Market it had one, but it has since been removed! Best of luck on your search! x Molly

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Jill December 18, 2018 - 2:45 am

Lovely, where could we get the cookie press?

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Molly @ MFCH December 18, 2018 - 11:48 am

Hi Jill, You can find them at http://www.springerle.com 🙂 Happy Baking, Molly

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Lucia Donahower December 18, 2018 - 3:32 am

Dear Molly and Sharon,
Thank you for the Springerle cookie recipe. We always buy these cookies at a local bakery. Now with your recipe I will attempt to make them! Thank you for the link to purchase the molds.
Happy Holidays to both of your families!
Lucy in California

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Lisa D. December 18, 2018 - 4:27 am

Dear Molly & Sharon,

What a beautiful post! I think I am going to have to order some of these. They are just too pretty to pass up. I’m going to try the recipe substituting the anise for lemon or orange. (I’m terribly envious that you get to work for Sharon, Molly. What a dream job.) Thanks for the tip, and have a very Merry Christmas!

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Holly December 18, 2018 - 4:34 pm

My favorite cookie of all time! My German mother and I would make these every Christmas. We always sprinkled anise seeds on the cookie sheet and added a little bit of anise extract to the batter. Thank you so much for sharing you have brought back a dearly treasured memory. I must pull out the cookie molds.
Thank you!!!

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EVY BOUTWELL December 18, 2018 - 5:47 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe as the cookies are so pretty and I LOVE anise. I have some cookie stamps but have been unsuccessful using them, so I am grateful for your detailed instructions on how to use them. I will also enjoy sharing your regions baking family traditions 🙂

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Sandy Jones January 11, 2019 - 4:41 pm

Molly:

I can’t estimate how thick the dough must be when you stamp it out. Any possibility of telling us what that thickness is?

May thanks. I will add almond or orange essence as I don’t like anise!

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Molly December 18, 2019 - 10:26 am

Hi Sandy!

The dough is about a half-centimeter thick. And yes, change up the flavors as you’d like! I’m not a particular fan of anise either so I play with different extracts. Happy Baking! Molly

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