These biscuits need a patterned rolling pin (springerle pin) or mould and they dry for a day before baking to preserve the pattern.
This receipe is the REAL THING. It asks for baker's ammonia and it tells you to let the shaped cookie stay outside for 24h. If you try this receipe for the first time, don't be discouraged by the strong an unusual smell of the ammonia. It makes the cookies puff up during the baking process. That's where its name comes from. Translated it means "little jumper". Ammonia is a must for those cookies, otherwise you will have Anise cookies. The smell will disapear over time and the strong flavor of anise will rise. Enjoy. - 06 Dec 2002 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
This is the same recipe that I received from my great grandmother some 50 years ago. I've had problems finding the ammonium carbonate but my local drugstore was able to get some for me. My favorite way of "softening" them up, is to dunk them in a good cup of hot tea when I am eating them. - 20 Jul 2004 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 1 teaspoon baking soda for 1 teaspoon baking ammonia. - 18 Dec 2013 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)