Änisbrötli – Anis Bread Cookies- Swiss Christmas Cookies
Änisbrötli (or Springerle as they are called in Germany, but since I am from Switzerland we’re going with the former ;) ) are flavored with, as the name implies anis. Make sure you get cleaned anis seeds, not fennel seeds. Many times I see fennel (the vegetable) labeled as anis in the store, but no no, not the same.
These are the coolest to make, and have been my favorite on and off for many years. So I am just writing this because originally I wanted to say they are my favorite, but realized that I think I might have said that about at least
one two other cookies as well, soooo… But truthfully, they are all my favorites :)
Please don’t think you can’t make these just because you don’t have one of the special pretty molds (called “Model” in German) I used here. You could of course, depending on what part of the country you live in, look for antique molds at yard sales or flea markets, or I think these lovely folks might ship overseas as well. But as you can see in the picture, they are fabulous also when made with regular cookie cutters, or turned into “Chräbeli” by forming dough pieces into a 3/4″ roll, cutting into 2″ pieces and cutting 2-3 times into each piece diagonally. Then bend them a little and proceed just like for all the other shapes.
One thing that is super important, you have, have, HAVE to make these on a greased cookie sheet. No parchment paper, no silicone mat, greased cookie sheet. Otherwise they will not rise properly when baked and won’t form the characteristic ‘foot’ as seen in the picture above.
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tbsp anis seeds
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- Beat eggs and confectioners sugar together until very bubbly/frothy (By hand this can take 10 minutes or more, if you are using a hand held mixer, make sure to stir in the confectioners sugar before turning on, or you’ll have the potential for a dust explosion on hand, not good for your kitchen or your respiratory system, trust me)
- Stir in Anis and salt
- Mix in the flour, and using your hands if necessary, form into a ball
- Let rest in the cold for 1 hour
- To form the cookies, roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/2″ thick, dust surface with some flour and press the mold deeply into the surface, cut out using a cutter or knife and place on a prepared greased cookie sheet.**
- Allow cookies to dry overnight
- The next day, preheat your oven to 305°F (yep, very low threehundredandfive, no typo)
- Bake at 305°F for 11 – 13 minutes. Cookies are supposed to get light brown on the bottom
**If you happen to not have any of the pretty form used, no worry. You can still make them, either just use regular cookie cutters, or make “Chräbeli” by rolling the dough into a 1/2″ thick roll, and cut 3″ sections off, then using a sharp knife, make perpendicular slices being careful to not cut all the way. Bend slightly and place on the cookie sheet. You can see what a “Chräbeli” looks like in the first picture, bottom right.
Pretty and yum!
Check out the post on more Swiss Christmas Cookies to try other varieties
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