House on the Hill
These anise-flavored molded cookies originated hundreds of years ago. Today, replicas of the traditional European molds are available in hundreds of designs. The cookies are made with lots of eggs, whose leavening effect may have given them the name springerle, which means “little jumper” in German.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen
Dissolve baking powder in milk in a small bowl. Put the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Meanwhile, beat eggs on high speed until very thick and lemon-colored, about 10 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar until creamy and smooth.
Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed, until creamy. Add baking powder and milk, salt, anise extract, and lemon zest; beat to combine.
Add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing on medium-low speed after each addition. Remove from mixer and stir in 3 more cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is stiff and well combined.
Transfer dough to a floured surface; knead by hand until dough is smooth and not sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Divide dough into 4 pieces; wrap well in plastic wrap.
Dust a work surface with confectioners’ sugar; roll out 1 piece of dough approximately 1/2 inch thick. Using a pastry brush, coat a springerle mold with confectioners sugar. Press mold into the dough; lift off. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut out cookie and slide it onto parchment-lined baking sheets; repeat, arranging cookies by size, about 1 inch apart.
Preheat oven to 220°F. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until completely dry, about 1 hour. They will not take on any color. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
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