This past weekend has been so much fun! Traditional Cookie Molds!
Late last year, I received an e-mail from someone asking me if I have ever carved Springerle cookie molds. Not wanting to sound ignorant, I quickly googled this mysterious name to see what he was talking about, and a new world of carving opened up!
Then the following week Roy Underhill called and asked if I have ever carved traditional Springerle cookie molds. Was this fate? Coincidence? I think not! It was meant to be!
So Roy and I set up a 1-day cookie mold carving class (as opposed to moldy cooking carving class), and then scheduled filming another Woodwright’s Show episode on carving these same cookie molds.
These carved molds are traditional designs made in Germany, (called Springerle or spekulatius), Belgium (called Speculoos), and Holland (pronounced speculaas), meaning “mirror”. They are similar to shortbread, made with white flour, brown sugar (or honey), butter and spices. This dough is rolled or pressed into the oiled and flowered carved molds that are about 3/16″ to 1/4″ deep, leaving about 1/8″ dough left above the mold. After gently releasing the dough from the mold, the edge of the cookie is often cut out (sometimes special cookie cutter shapes are made that match the edge of the carved design to cleanly cut out the cookie to the correct shape).
The wooden molds are usually carved from very dense, hard, tight-grained wood such as pear or apple. Softer woods would be affected by oil or moist dough.
First – the cookie class. This class was open to all carvers – beginner and advanced, and it really was a great class. We dove right into carving a wind-mill cookie mold (didn’t even go over sharpening tools until towards the end of class because we wanted to get right into the fun part). As people were finishing up their wind-mill carvings towards the end of the day, Roy went around the room, oiled the molds, and pressed cookie dough into the molds (Roy’s wife, Jane, made the cookie dough). This is where we discovered that if there were any undercuts in the wooden mold, the dough would catch and not release easily. The malt shop next door was kind enough to bake the cookies and they were really tasty!
Sunday we filmed another episode of The Woodwright’s Shop – one of the longest running shows out there – 33 years! Roy is always fun to work with. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know him over the past 5 or 6 years with 3 different shows, and teaching at his school in Pittsboro several times a year.
The show should air in September or October. I’ve also filmed the process of carving several of these for my online school and that should be available within the next few months.
If you leave wood shavings in the mold, you add more fiber to the cookies! Then they’re healthier!