Category: Cookies & Candies
2 cups sugar
4 to 4-1/2 cups sifted cake or pastry flour
1 tablespoon anise seed for pan or add 4 drops of anise oil to dough
Beat the eggs until very light. Beat in the sugar gradually, and continue beating until the mixture is very light and creamy. Fold in the flour. If using anise oil, add it at this point. The Europeans never added salt to this cookie, but you may add 1/2-teaspoon, if you like. Also, they sometimes add 1 teaspoon baking powder with the flour. If standard-size eggs are used, 4 cups of flour should be ample, but a slight increase in size may call for the other cup. The dough should be soft enough to be rolled out on a lightly floured board or canvas.
Lightly flour the top of the dough, and roll it out about 1/2-inch thick and approximately the size of the springerle board or the width of the springerle rolling pin. Dust the board or rolling pin with flour and blow away the excess. Press into the dough. Cut between the designs with a sharp, lightly greased knife or with a lightly greased pastry wheel. Transfer the pieces to a lightly oiled cookie sheet. If using anise seed, dust them onto the sheet before transferring the dough. Place the cookie sheets out of drafts and let stand 8 to 16 hours to set the design.
Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven. Do not over bake or these cookies will be hard, and even adding a cut apple or orange to the container in which they are stored will not soften them enough to make them edible. The length of time needed to bake them will depend upon the size of the cookies, but 10 to 14 minutes is usually enough. The cookies will puff up and have rather a crusty top.