Springerle (Anise) Cookies

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Low-FODMAP, Paleo

I recently read a wonderfully interesting book about the plants, spirits, and rituals at the origins of Yuletide, or Christmas. In it, I was introduced to a host of Christmas traditions and foods, most of which originated in Scandinavia, Germany, and other surrounding countries. One such recipe was Springerle cookies, German anise cookies, which are made during the Christmas week. 

While these cookies are typically made with wheat flour, powdered sugar, and embossed with various designs using wooden molds, I have Paleo-fied the recipe and used cookie cutters instead since I don’t have wooden molds. For those of you lucky enough to have tried the traditional version, these are not an exact replacement. But for those of us unable to eat the traditional version, these anise cookies will certainly lighten up your heart and home this Christmastime!

Makes about 2 dozen, depending on cookie cutter size
Prep Time: 30 mins | Chill Time: 1-3 hrs | Cook Time: 10 mins
Equipment: Food processor, rolling pin, cookie cutters, baking sheet

1. Combine all wet ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until well-incorporated.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or vegan butter), at room temperature
  •  1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp pure anise extract

2. Combine dry ingredients together in one bowl. Gradually add to the food processor and blend until a smooth, thick dough forms. Scrap down the sides as necessary. Scoop out the dough into a metal or ceramic bowl, cover, and freeze for at least an hour or up to 3 hours. You want the ball of dough to be very hard and firm.

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cups arrowroot flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground anise
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

3. Heat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with extra arrowroot flour. Roll the cold dough out between two sheets of parchment or wax paper using a rolling pin to 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Using cookie cutters dipped in arrowroot flour, cut out the cookies and place them on a well-greased baking sheet, re-rolling the dough until all cookies have been made.*

4. Bake for 10 minutes until firm to the touch. They should still be white or light in color, not brown. Once baked, place each cookie on a cooling rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Store in an air-tight container.

Tip: If the dough is too sticky to cut after an hour in the freezer, place the dough back in the freezer for another 2 hours or so until hardened.

*Tip: Likewise, if it takes a while to cut out all the cookies, you can place the whole baking tray in the freezer for 10 mins until they are cold again – this helps them keep their shape while baking. 

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