"Nearly famous since 2001"
How I began with Springerle
I first became interested in Springerle in August of 2001. Up to that point I had been involved with the food service industry since 1983. In the few years prior to Springerle, I had been training myself in the baking and pastry trade. I was looking at a baking book and saw a photo of a Springerle cookie. I knew immediately that I wanted to include them in my repertoire.
Learning about Springerle was and still is an adventure for me. There was no one I knew that had ever heard of them, so knew I would have a bit of trial and error ahead of me. With the materials and information I could gather, I soon began. Being able to work from a commercial bakery had its advantages. The most important to me was space; I could spread out my work and leave it without any disturbance.
My neighbor, Ms. Blanche, was the first person who received one of my new cookies. After attempting to nibble it, she chuckled and advised me not to give these to older folks with store-bought teeth! Then and there I knew I should change the way I was making Springerle.
The first Springerle I produced were "bricks". I had read recipes that said to bake them for about 10 to 16 minutes but I wasn't sure about the moist bottoms. So, I baked them until they were dry. That proved to be a large mistake. However, I do still have some of the very first Springerle I baked.
Since my first attempts at baking Springerle I have come a very long way. I have changed recipes and baking techniques and have developed a Springerle that is not a "true" Springerle. Mine most often look as if they are porcelain pieces, but not always. These too you can see in the picture section. Some acquaintances that I have made in Germany sent me some of their true Springerle. These have the "foot" that Springerle are known for.
In this adventure I have had the pleasure of meeting many people from over the USA and Europe. I have even had the opportunity to speak with a Doctor from the Goethe Institute about their history and the meanings behind some of them. To all those folks I am very grateful for the stories, recipes and histories they have shared. I have even been in contact with master carves in Europe who still carve molds. They were and are very helpful with my learning process and understanding of this beautiful "edible art."
You may find their sites in our Links section. They are willing to produce original pieces for you. Please keep in mind that these will not be replicas but original works of art. As such, they are expensive but they may last several generations in your family.
As well as producing "Edible Art" with Springerle molds, I have also been using them to produce other works of art. Some examples will be in the Crafts section. I am available to answer any questions I can about Springerle. At times it may take a few days to respond to your questions. You may also check out our new bakers FAQ section. So here I am today with a passion for wooden molds and the history and stories they hold. Looking for that mold that may contain some great and interesting history or life story.
Some of the questions to ask yourself might be, who thought of the design, who carved it, what family has it been with and who's hands has it passed through? And I always imagine who else has had a cookie with this exact same picture and at what occasion did they have it?
Most commonly, the molds I use are replicas. I do have a small collection of very old original molds, some of which have come to me with their family histories. To the folks that have let them come to me, I am very appreciative. When I learn what I must do to care for these old molds, I will next work at replicating them.
Just imagine making the first Springerle from a mold that has not been used in generations. What stories they must hold!
Ken Hamilton, "The Springerle Baker"
Clinton, SC 29325