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Springerle is a type of South German biscuit or cookie with an embossed design made by pressing a mold onto rolled dough and allowing the impression to dry before baking. This preserves the detail of the surface pattern. While historical molds show that springerle were baked for religious holidays and secular occasions throughout the year, they are now most commonly associated with the Christmas season.
The name springerle translates literally as "little jumper" or "little knight", but its exact origin is unknown. It may refer the popular motif of a jumping horse in the mold, or just to the rising or "springing up" of the dough as it bakes. The origin of the cookie can be traced back to at least the 14th century in southwestern Germany and surrounding areas, mostly in Swabia.