Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins
Taken from a little community cookbook "Cooking on Clogs" that has some great family recipes compiled by Dutch ladies especially for when they pined for typical Dutch recipes and treats that were not available to them shop-bought when they emigrated to other countries. I like the fact that these cookies don't just specify the vague ingredient "speculaas kruiden" (spices) but actually tell you how to make the spice mix from scratch. These cookies available year round in NL but the large, often highly decorative cookies, often made to a regional or local spekulaas spice recipes that are the cooks closely guarded secret, and often topped with slivered almonds, make their appearance in late November in the run up to Saint Nicolas on December 5th. Cooking time includes refrigeration time and yield is a total guess because it depends entirely how large you choose to make your cookies :) ZWT REGION: The Netherlands.
- 160 g butter (5.6 oz)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 400 g flour (14 oz)
- 300 g brown sugar (10.5 oz)
- 50 g ground almonds
- 4 -6 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mace
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- milk, for glaze
- Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the salt, almonds, egg and 3 tablespoons of milk.
- Add the flour and spices and enough of the remaining milk to make a stiff dough. Mix well to work in all of the flour throughout the mixture.
- Roll into a ball, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out and use a wooden Speculaas form to make decorative shapes or use cookie cutter forms. Place on a greased baking tray, brush lightly with milk and bake at 200°C (400°F) for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
I made these for ZWT4 - and they were fantastic. The spices were beautiful, and the biscuits were were so crisp and crunchy. The only downside was that the dough was difficult to work with, I rolled them out thinly & used a cutter, but some of them broke. It's best to work with small amounts of dough in one go I think. Thanks for posting Andria, I might try making these with ginger so they are like the speculoos biscuits I had in Belgium.
I took these to a cricket match and shared them around. One little boy couldn't get enough of them! I used half the dough in my shortbread mould (to make a Dutch/Scottish cookie!) and rolled out the rest and used cookie cutters. I preferred the thin ones. They were nice and crunchy. My big cookie was too thick and had more of a cakey texture. The spices were very tasty. Funnily enough, nobody picked the spices. Most people guessed it was ginger - but they all liked them just the same.