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Springerle Cookies

This is my grandmother's recipe for springerle cookies. These cookies are German; how they ended up in my Scotch-Irish family I'm not sure. Full disclosure, up front, you either like them or you don't. I haven't met anyone who is on middle ground when it come to these treats. Springerles are an anise flavored hard biscuit style cookie, and by hard I mean HARD. When my mother was alive she used to remind me every Christmas, how I cut my first teeth with these cookies. They are brick hard when cooled from the oven.

They are also time consuming to make, be prepared to spend an few hours, and a couple of days, making these delectable snacks. Creaming the butter and sugar takes a half hour with a stand mixer, longer with a hand held, and your arms will fall off before you can complete the task by hand.
Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 cups flour
10 drops of LorAnn anise oil or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp anise extract

Start by beating the four eggs until light and foamy. Gradually add the sugar to the eggs. Continue beating the mixture for half an hour with your stand mixer, 45 minutes with a hand mixer. Slowly add sifted flour until a smooth stiff dough is formed. Cover dough ball and refrigerate over night. Roll out dough on a lightly flour covered  board. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick.
Next roll with a floured springerle rolling pin or board, pressing firmly to imprint the designs into the dough. Cut along the imprinted lines and place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet, allowing the dough to dry out overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake cookies for 3 minutes. Turn heat down to 325 degrees. Bake for 2 minutes more. Remove cookies from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, store in an air tight container.

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