For over a thousand years in Europe, hand-carved molds have been used to imprint "picture cookies." These cookies have been historically used as betrothal tokens, tellers of tales and to celebrate daily life. Springerle molds first came to Lancaster County circa 1710 among the most treasured possessions of the Pennsylvania German immigrants. Our Springerle cookies and ornaments are made from replicas of molds painstakingly copied from original molds in museums in Germany and Switzerland.
We use only the finest ingredients to make our cookies, and follow the traditional European recipe. We offer cookies in lemon, orange, orange vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, almond, vanilla and traditional anise flavors. Some are accented with edible gold paint. Our ornaments are made of a durable ash/paper pulp mixture and hand painted. We hope you enjoy this taste of the past!
The Springerle House opened at Lancaster Central Market in 1998. Heather´s family had been making springerle cookies for over 150 years, and, since her mother had taught her how to make them, and her mother before her, and so on, it seemed fitting that the market stand focus on this age-old tradition.
At the time, we were, as far as we know, the only bakery in Lancaster County, Pa., and one of the few in the country that sold springerle cookies. This tradition dates back to approximately the 15th century in Germany, and first came to the U.S. around 1710. While there were a number of German bakeries many years ago that sold the cookies in Lancaster and Philadelphia, almost all of them had long since closed. It seemed that the tradition of springerle cookie making in our heavily German area was destined to go with them, and be lost to time. From the very beginning, we decided to offer our recipe free of charge - we want to know that we´ve done our part to encourage, educate, and share with springerle bakers everywhere!
In the early days at the market stand, we sold primarily springerle cookies, our famous jumbo chocolate chunk cookies and gold-toned handpainted ornaments. Soon we added our ginger snaps, and they garnered quite a following! Through customer suggestions, we added color to our handpainted ornaments, and began to import cookie molds from Switzerland so our customers could make their own springerle at home.
In 2001, Heather´s family moved to the charming little town of Strasburg, PA. With its Memorial Day and Halloween parades, its Pearl Harbor Day commemoration on the town square, and its treasure trove of 18th century architecture, Strasburg seemed the perfect spot: a brick-and-mortar location for the Springerle House Tea & Cookie Café opened in 2003. Focusing on two locations at once was a bit much, so the market stand closed about three years later. Specializing in 60+ varieties of looseleaf tea, fresh-ground brewed coffee & espresso drinks, and of course, lots of homemade from-scratch baked goods, the café´s central focus remained the springerle cookies. After years of research, we learned how to make our own reproduction cookie molds, and began selling them at our cookie making classes and in our café.
We ship our springerle cookies anywhere in the world, and in the high season of November and December, we hand-make about 800 cookies per day. As time went on, the business of making & shipping springerle cookies, ornaments, & cookie molds grew and grew, eventually making it difficult to balance the demands of the cookie business and the café. In January, 2015, we made the difficult decision to close our little shop and focus on our online business of what we do best: all things springerle! It was a bittersweet decision, but in balancing a successful business while maintaining quality of life, tough decisions sometimes must be made. We love making cookies, we value our staff, and we appreciate our customers! To those of you who have been with us for years, thank you, thank you for your loyal patronage. To those of you who are new friends, welcome!
As we start down this new road of exclusively online business, we will be pursuing other interests - look for a new cooking/baking/gardening/living blog premiering on this site in Feb., 2015. Be sure to check back regularly so you don't miss all of the wonderful recipes we'll be sharing, as well as beautiful photos of Lancaster County, and adventures in daily life...
This new site will also contain an events page where we'll list craft/art shows where we'll have a stand, and a page of places to go and things to do in Lancaster County - tried and tested by a native!
Please return often, drop us a line, and join us on this new adventure - the best is yet to come!
Owner, The Springerle House
4th Generation Springerle Baker