On the December 2008 issue of Martha's Living magazine, I was instantly drawn to the most beautiful cookies! No gooey layers or sloppy ingredients, just simple shapes but with little scenes etched on the tops each cookie. A horse drawn sleigh in front of a farmhouse, a snowman, birds, flowers, bunnies, religious icons; the designs were intricate and eye catching. I discovered these cookies have been around for 100's of years and are named Springerle cookies. I wanted these molds! They were mostly made of wood and one could hang them for a unique kitchen decor. Go to http://www.houseonthehill.net/ so you can see what I am describing. This is a small company located in Massachusetts and they were flooded with orders when I called (and omitted some of the molds I wanted), but now I am sure business has calmed down.
The springerle cookies require a 24-hour drying period so I decided not to try that recipe but found in the little book that accompanied my order, several other recipes including the best sugar cookie...Vanilla Sugar Cookie. Unlike any other sugar cookie recipe, this one requires dissolving the sugar so have fun and try them yourself! They come out soft and tender and can be stored for up to a week in a metal tin. You can even purchase the special paint and give them some color! Try them with your favorite hot tea on a dismal rainy day (it rained yesterday!).