Gingerbread birds and butter brickle

Monday, December 11, 2017

 I made these gingerbread birds this past week from an antique cookie board I purchased last year. I can't even begin to tell you how much it cost.....but I had never seen one like it, and I love making these springerle-like cookies. I have quite a few molds and love them all! (All's an addiction.)

 Today I made some almond toffee....although the recipe called this recipe a brickle. I can't figure out the difference....what is a brickle? Is it toffee?

 I thought these sweet birds made the best gift tags. Really any shape of a gingerbread cookie would be sweet.

 The recipe is from this 2012 Land O Lakes magazine. They no longer publish cookie recipe magazines. But I have about 4 of them, so maybe Land O Lakes think they have written enough about Christmas cookies. I do use Land O Lakes butter though, as the water content is lower. But any butter would work here, so not to worry.

I usually write the date I've made something and any notes that help with the recipe in all of my cookbooks and magazines. It helps me later, and I think of these as personal cooking journals. You can tell I first made this in 2015 and was surprised how easy it was. The paper wrinkles show I've made this recipe quite a bit. Just glad the pages haven't stuck together yet! I can hardly get to my pecan pie recipe because of accidental drips and drops on the page. I've had to tear my Betty Crocker pages carefully apart a couple of times.

I did change this recipe a little. My changes are noted below in parentheses.

Here's the recipe:  Make sure you read over all the steps before beginning.

1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1 tsp. Land O Lakes butter, melted
1 1/2 tsps. of coarse ground black pepper  (I used just 1 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. sea salt or coarse grain salt
2/3 cup Land O Lakes butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
(I add 1/2 tsp. almond extract after taking the toffee off of the heat source.)

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan with foil, and extend over the edges.
2. Combine the almonds with the 1/2 tsp. of melted butter in a small bowl. Toss to coat. Spread onto the pan. Sprinkle the pepper and salt over the almonds. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are lightly toasted....about 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine 2/3 cup butter, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy 3 qt. saucepan. Cook over medium hear, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce the heat to low. (You don't have to stir much after you reduce the heat. It continues to do fine on its own.) Cook until the candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. Remove from the heat and stir in the toasted almonds. (I add the 1/2 tsp. almond extract here also.)
4. Stir the mixture well and pour onto the same foil-lined pan; spread to a thin layer. Cool and break into pieces.

I made two batches....enough to share and have a couple pieces left for me too! I didn't double the recipe though. I made each batch separately.

Happy baking!
Until later,


  1. These birds are wonderful! I'll take your word that they are easy to make...they look so very elegant!

  2. I have been looking for the Land O' Lakes cookie magazine since fall! I remembered you blogged about it a long time ago, and I wanted to start collecting them. Thanks for the news they no longer publish - saves me from looking. lol I always love when you post and follow you on Instagram. Merry Christmas! Thanks for all the wonderful posts, books, and fabrics.

  3. Amazing birds—so special to use this antique mold again. How old do you think it is?
    Toffee or brickle (and what about brittle?) it sounds delicious. Very intrigued by the pepper—look forward to trying. Thank you!

  4. I can't imagine eating such lovely birds but I would as I love gingerbread! Thank you for the recipe. I don't know the difference either between brickle, brittle, or toffee .... sorry.

  5. The birds are beautiful! Maybe the recipe for the gingerbread you used for them that holds it's shape so well?

  6. Alma, I love the bird shaped cookies! I remember your posts using the Springerle cookie molds and thanks to you I purchased some back when House on the Hill was still selling them from their website. Great memories!

  7. I too love the bird mold. So detailed, something you don't see anymore unless you find an antique gem.

  8. Alma, my favorite posts are always the cookie posts. I absolutely love your new bird speculaas molds, and think I’ll mold a few speculaas cookies myself today. Cookbook journaling makes my heart very happy, and it has saved me from remaking an awful brownie recipe on more than one occasion. I like to mark the flops and why. I wish you and Barb a very Merry Christmas with all the things that bless you.


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