Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Recipe: Springerles

4 Eggs
1 # Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Anise Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
Flour for a stiff dough

Beat Eggs and Sugar until light and fluffy with mixer.  Add Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp. Anise Oil, 1 Tbsp. Butter, and enough Flour for a stiff dough.  (I added 1/2 cup of the Flour at a time until it was just about stiff enough to roll out.  Then I put the dough on a floured surface and worked in a small amount of the Flour so that it could roll out easily, but still stay "soft".)  I shaped the dough so that it was smooth on top and the width of my Springales rolling pin. Roll out with a regular rolling pin until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.  Then use molds to shape.  Place on lightly greased and floured cookie sheet.  I like to put a sprinkling of Anise Seeds on the cookie sheet.  Let stand for a few hours or overnight.  Bake in slow oven at 300 or 326 degrees.

Source:  Walter "Wag" and Adah Wagner were our neighbors across the street when my Dad, Mom and I moved into our "new house" in 1951.  Mr. and Mrs. Wagner had no children of their own and their family was far away, so we became their family and they became ours.  They were kind of like grandparents to my brother and me, although we did not call them that.  We were grandparent deprived as 3 of the 4 had already passed and the 4th lived a long ways away and didn't speak the only language we were taught (English).  Over the years, Dad became like a son to Wag. 

I will always remember that night when my Dad carried me across the street in my pajamas to stay for the rest of the night with the Wagners.  My Dad and Mom then went to the hospital; that's where they "got my baby brother".  I was 5.  And I will never forget that Mrs. Wagner sat with me in my darkened bedroom during those 2 weeks when I had the Old Fashioned Measles. In those days, children were kept in darkened rooms because of fear of blindness.

I remember that Mr. and Mrs. Wagner were small, even to me as a child.  My child's eye remembers them also as blocky in stature.  They reminded me then and to this day of gnomes.  I would surely hope that is not a negative statement. Their house was small too. Mrs. Wagner even had an extensive collection of tiny little pitchers.

Wag and Mrs. Wag were of German descent.  Wag was a baker, candy maker and carpenter.  I am not sure how all of those things fit together, but they did.  At Christmas time, he would make "Springales" with those lovely wooden block molds.  When Richard and I were married, he and Mrs. Wagner gave us wooden Springales molds and this recipe.  The molds are long gone and the recipe's ink is badly faded from being underwater in the flood in 1997.  Richard and I have been on the lookout for Molds. I found a wooden rolling pin with molds in an antique mall this fall.  It's still not quite right, but it will do for now.

Wag's recipe is abbreviated:  "Springales Xmas Cookies  4 eggs 1lb pd Sugar 1/4 tsp xxxx 1 teaspoon Baking pdr, 1/4 teaspoon annise Oil, flour for a stiff rollout do-  Beat eggs + sugar until light + fluffy with mixer when you add the flour add 2 tablespoon of butter.  Rollout + cut in shapes desired.  we use the molds.  Let stand a few hrs or over nite + bake in a slow oven 300 or 325."

("xxxx" Wag lists what looks to be a leavening ingredient and then crosses it out.)

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