The word springerle, comes from the old German dialect meaning "little knight." Springerle cookies were made for hundreds of years and some of the earliest molds found in Switzerland date back as far as the 14th century. The molds used to make springerle were usually carved from wood or made of clay or metal. Biblical scenes were some of the earliest images portrayed in springerle and were used to educate those who couldn't read or write. Eventually, other scenes wcrc carved and the cookies soon reflected images of holidays, events and scenes from every day life. The cookies were also used to celebrate births, weddings and used as betrothal tokens. Exchanging springerle during the holidays was a common practice very much like we exchange cards today.