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:
- 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.
- Properly chilled dough. Too warm and it sticks. Too cold and it will be too stiff to roll.
- Proper baking directions (more on that in a second.)