The recipe for Springerle is centuries-old. It originated in the German duchy of Swabia. Flavored with anise and lemon zest, the white cookie is deeply embossed with a carved rolling pin or by pressing into a mold. After forming, the cookies are dried overnight to set the design before baking.
We three have a low tolerance for the taste of anise and so I cut the amount of ingredients in half, using only two eggs instead of four. The half batch yielded about two and a half dozen cookies.
Sharon Tyler Herbst’s recipe does not contain a leavening agent. I whipped the eggs with a little salt, and added powdered sugar gradually. When ribbons formed, I folded in lemon zest and flour, then kneaded the dough for a bit before rolling it out and making the impressions. The cookies cured overnight on a bed of butter and anise before baking, bed and all, in the morning. They are stored with all the toasted anise seeds, and should soften and mellow.
Wikipedia has an interesting theory on the source of the name Springerle. We do not love these cookies. But again, we three have a low tolerance for the taste of anise. If you love that flavor, you may really enjoy them!