Do What you love

I love springerle cookie molds. The intricacy of the molds and the ability to form cookies that are truly works of art fascinate me. When I look at the replicas of springerle cookie molds dating back as much as 400 years I wonder:

---Who were the people that carved them?

---What were the politics of the time?

---How did they live?

---Who used the cookie molds? For what occasions? Births, weddings, religious holidays, festivals?

It is amazing that I am able to use the same images 400 years later. What would the original cookie mold carvers and owners think about their legacy?

I didn’t always like springerle cookies. Even though my German ancestors came to the US from Gdansk (Danzig) in the 1870s and from Berlin in the 1880s, I found that eating an anise-flavored cookie was not in my genes. Growing up in Detroit, there were German bakeries and my mother religiously bought springerle (and pfeffernüss) for our Christmas cookie plates. The springerle cookies were hard and the primitive images were difficult to see.

Fast forward about 40 years to a convention of antique Christmas collectors in Lancaster PA…

One of the collectors gave a presentation on springerle cookies and how to paint them. Later, I found springerle molds and springerle cookies that were beautiful and flavored with raspberry, not anise in a booth at Lancaster’s famous Central Market. I was hooked.

For the last ten years I have been an avid springerle cookie mold collector and professional springerle baker. To support my habit, I made paper clay ornaments using the springerle cookie molds, painted them with acrylics and sold them at conventions. I found that although I couldn’t draw a picture in perspective, I could paint intricate clay impressions of the cookie molds. Cookie painting soon followed and I have taught a number of classes at conventions.

In 2008, while selling paper clay impressions of Nativity cookie molds at a Christmas creche collector’s convention, customers asked where they could purchase these molds. Of course there were sources in the US and Canada that I was able to give them. But I knew that the biggest collection of springerle cookie molds—religious and otherwise—was from Änis Paradies of Switzerland.

These cookie molds were hard to come by in North America. So I began to think, what if…

In fall 2009, I attended a springerle cookie mold fair at the Württemberg State Museum in Stuttgart. There I met the owner of Änis-Paradies, Mr. Linus Feller. We were on the same wavelength. He invited me to sell springerle cookie molds for his company in North America and I accepted.

So at last I am doing what I love. And I want to share this Springerle Joy with you.

Patrice Romzick

Owner, Springerle Joy