Thursday, December 26, 2013

One does not just make Springerles Cookies....

   About a year ago I cut out an article from the Wall Street Journal about Springerle cookies. Molded holiday cookies that looked like little pieces or artwork and that were supposed to taste like a cousin to the biscotti. Also listed was a recipe for a Molded Gingerbread Cookie from the bakery "Tartine"
   The recipe contains black pepper, cayenne and copies amounts of dried ginger. I *hate* when store bought gingerbread cookies contain no ginger....aren't they just plain old cookies then?
Heart Mold
 These cookies are a bit daunting by are well worth the effort and can be stored for 2 weeks...not that they will last that long. You can just make cut out cookies with this recipe, but if you can find any wooden molds at an antique store, pick some out. I am always on the look out and plan on grabbing some more. I just have a leaf and a roller mold that leaves a pineapple pattern.
   The cookies do not need to bake long. You'll think, 8 minutes, thats not enough-but it is. You want a cookie that comes out more like a ginger bread with a nice cake texture that leaves a small bite of pepper in the after taste.

Here is the recipe if you are hang trouble with the link.

Molded Gingerbread Cookies
Hands-down the best gingerbread I've ever had, ( I most certainly agree) this recipe is adapted from one in the "Tartine" cookbook and amplified by cocoa, allspice and red chili.
ACTIVE TIME: 1-1¼ hours
MAKES: 2-4 dozen cookies
"Pineapple" cookie roller
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons agave syrup
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Scant pinch red chili powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1½ teaspoons allspice
3½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon baking powder
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue mixing until pale and creamy. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Stir in molasses, honey and agave syrup. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix until well combined.
2. In another large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, chili powder, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, salt, pepper and baking powder. Working in batches, sprinkle flour mixture into butter mixture, stirring gently until a firm dough forms and starts to pull away from sides of bowl.
3. Flour your hands and pull the dough from the bowl, knead once or twice into a ball (if it's so sticky it glues to your fingers, sprinkle in a teaspoon or so of flour and knead again). Place round on a large piece of plastic wrap, flatten gently with palm of hand and wrap tightly. Refrigerate dough at least 3 hours.
4. Generously dust a large, clean work space with flour. Divide chilled dough into four sections and, working one section at a time, roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. (Lightly flour rolling pin if dough sticks.)
5. Using pastry brush, lightly dust cookie mold with confectioners' sugar. Place mold on top of dough and press firmly and evenly to imprint. (Don't wiggle or image will blur). Repeat, dusting mold with additional sugar as needed, until entire section of dough is imprinted.
6. Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, trim around edges of printed designs and gently transfer cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat rolling, printing and trimming process with remaining dough. Then set baking sheets aside, uncovered, and allow cookies to dry (or "cure") at least 3 hours.
7. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking sheet in center of oven and bake until cookies are slightly springy at center and faintly browned at edges, 8-15 minutes depending on size and thickness of molds used. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Once cookies have cooled, brush with a confectioners' sugar glaze, if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

I think I made about 3 dozen cookies, but I did have one rather large stamp cookie. The best way to make these is to make the dough one day and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Generously flour your work surface and for really good cookies, make sure your mold is cold too! I stuck mine in the freezer for a couple of minutes, powdered it and powdered my dough with powdered sugar before smashing my mold on it. Also, make sure your dough is thick enough to be able to get into the mold!
  By the time I had all my dough cut out and cleaned up the kitchen it was time to bake my cookies. Molded the cookies takes time and some smashing of the dough, but it was all worth it in the end. The cookies taste fine (even without icing them) and they are a showstopper!
Hear Molded Cookie before edges are cut

Pineapple Roller cut into sections

Snowman Handstamp Cookie

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