Most cookie recipes are happy accidents. Hm... Chocolate chips DO make oatmeal cookies better! And then there are Springerle cookies.

They look sweet. In fact, they look down right adorable. Who wouldn't want to gift this too-cute stamped cookie to a friend and then own up to actually making it?


But then you start to hear their history. We can thank the good people of Germany (and Switzerland, according to some sources) for creating this confection. The anise-flavored Springerle cookie was used to celebrate holidays, births, weddings, and more, with bakers pressing often wooden stamps into the dough to create the appropriate image for the occasion.

Depending on who you ask, some historians trace these cookies back to early German pagan rituals. When the poor couldn't sacrifice living animals to the gods (in exchange, say, for a short winter), they would form the dough into the shape of an animal. Or, to save time, would use a stamp.

Other historians link the birth of these bites to early Church Holy Days. Even cookies, it seems, can have quite the storied past.

When we baked these cookies, we weren't bartering for warmer spring weather. We were just hoping for a not-too-sweet mid-afternoon treat to go with our coffee. Guess what? They were perfect.

What recipes do you want to learn about? Come back each Thursday as we revisit the classics in our recipe collection!

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel