Shortbread Springerle Cookies

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
SERVES: 36-144


  • 12
    teaspoon baker's ammonia (Hartshorn) or 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2
    tablespoons milk
  • 6
    large eggs, room temperature
  • 6
    cups powdered sugar (1 - 1 1/2 LB)
  • 12
    cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • 12
    teaspoon salt
  • 12
    teaspoon anise (if substituting fruit flavored oils, use 3 teaspoons)
  • 2
    lbs sifted cake flour
  • grated orange rind (enhances flavor of the traditional anise or the citrus flavors, optional, optional) (optional) or lemon rind (enhances flavor of the traditional anise or the citrus flavors) (optional)
  • flour (more as needed)


  • Dissolve hartshorn in the milk for 1 hour.
  • Beat eggs until thick and lemon coloured, about 10 minutes with a heavy duty mixed, longer with a hand mixer.
  • Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, then the softened butter, beating until the mixture is creamy.
  • Beat in the hartshorn and milk, salt, flavouring oil and grated citrus peel, if using.
  • Gradually beat in as much of the flour as possible with the mixer, then stir in the rest of the flour to make a stiff dough.
  • Turn the dough onto floured surface and knead in more flour until stiff enough to make a good print.
  • The amount of flour needed will depend on the size of the eggs and amount of humidity.
  • Dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough to about 1/3 " thickness.
  • With a clean dry pastry brush, brush springerle molds with cake flour and press into the dough.
  • Cut out cookies with a knife, pizza cutter, pastry wheel or cutter.
  • Place cookies on a kitchen towel, uncovered, to dry for 2 to 24 hours.
  • Bake on a greased or baker's parchment lined cookie sheet at 225 F to 325 F until barely golden on the bottom. This will take 10 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.
  • Cool completely on rack and store in tins.
  • They will keep for monthe and improve with age. They can be baked in October or November for Christmas.
  • The number of cookies this recipe yields depends on the size and thickness of the cookies.
  • Prep time does not include the 2 to 24 hour drying time.
  • Chocolate Springerle - Add 1 cup cocoa and 2 tsp vanilla or chocolate extract in place of other flavorings. For a lighter colored cookie, use chocolate flavor confectioner's sugar which is available in 1 lb boxes, plus 2 tsp of vanilla or chocolate extract.
  • Cocoa-Mocha - Add 2 tbsp powdered (pulverize granules if necessary) instant coffee to milk plus either of the chocolate formulas given above.
  • Citrus - Use 3 to 4 tsp oil of lemon or oil of orange, or 2 tsp oil and grated rind of 3 oranges or lemons.
  • Oil of cinnamon, almond or peppermint - Use 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla - Use 4 or 5 tsp extract.