A generations-old Christmas cookie recipe is marked not only by its licorice-like flavor, but also a hand-crafted wooden mold used to make the cookies.
The tradition of anise-flavored springerle cookies goes back hundreds of years in Bavaria and Austria, and the molds used to stamp them were made by woodcarvers whose art has all but disappeared.
These simple egg and flour cookies are flavored with anise and lemon zest and stamped with intricate, detailed images.
The images on the molds are, of course, carved in reverse, which makes the feat of creating them all the more impressive. The cookies can be made ahead and will be edible for a week or two. After that, they make lovely tree ornaments.