Embossed Cookie Roller

I’m a catalog window shopper. It started when I was little; my grandmother received a variety of catalogs but for some reason, I gravitated to Swiss Colony and (get this) Carolina Biological Supply. Yes, that’s right, my childhood reading included a heaping mix of attractively packaged sweets (the petit-fours in particular) and pickled frogs. It’s true.

But anyway, that’s just the amusing beginnings of my habit of browsing catalogs. I get one from King Arthur Flour. I’m a reasonably intermediate baker, so I mostly skim it in search of inspiration, but the one thing I’ve always admired are the springerle cookies. Their crisp detail elevates them to miniature artworks – the best kind, because you can eat them.

Now, until recently I had yet to conquer properly molded shortbread (I’m nearly there now, though.) And then these wonderful rolling pins arrived under my Christmas tree:

Hedgehog. Rolling. Pin.

I also received foxes and owls, but everyone knows the hedgies score highest in the “Woo!” factor. Also, penguins.

Anyway, I looked up a springerle recipe from KAF and proceeded. Using one of these pins requires arriving at the intersection of the following conditions:

  1. Properly prepped pins. I sprayed mine with oil and then dusted lightly with flour. After the moon cake fiasco, I know better than to trust an untreated wooden mold.
  2. Properly chilled dough. Too warm and it sticks. Too cold and it will be too stiff to roll.
  3. Proper baking directions (more on that in a second.)
  • So I made the dough to spec and proceeded with baking. Round one:
  • Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
    Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
  • Burned after 12 minutes, and not a good impression. Recipe baking time said 10-12 min, and I usually use the longer time on the first batch. Alterations: return dough to fridge to chill firmer, press harder on the roller next time, reduce baking time to 10 min.
  • Round 2:
  • Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
    Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
  • Thinner cookies, a much better impression, but still burned at 10 minutes. Chill dough further, and reduce baking time again.
  • Round 3:
  • Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
    Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
  • Success! Reduced baking time to 5 minutes (these are probably thinner than the KAF recipe intends) but they baked beautifully, and the dough took quite a good impression.
  • Here are the owls:
  • Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
    Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
  • (Because they’re from Poland, they say Hoo! Hoo!)
  • And the foxes:
  • Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
    Embossed Rolling Pin cookie.
  • I love this tool because I can press out a ton of impressively cute cookies with a minimum of effort. I may have to start collecting.
  • The recipe as written produces an okay cookie. It’s mechanically sound (bakes well once you get the conditions right), but I’d personally prefer something a little more like a speculoos cookie – crisper, a little sweeter, more spices. I’ll be monkeying with the recipe to see if I can achieve such a thing but presumably I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But – woo! Or should I say, Hoo!
  • head cephalopod

    Just sorting out the flotsam of the universe.

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