Recipe by Ethan UK
Spekulatius is a wonderful highly spiced German Christmas cookie. It's very thin (approx 1/8 inch). Buttery and crumbly crisp. Reminiscent of gingerbread but actually I think rather more refined and usually has a few flaked almonds across the top although I have also seen them with glace cherries or both. I'm searching online for a good recipe and this is one of the ones that I've come across that looks like it should give the correct taste and result - although I haven't baked it yet due to time restrictions. As with many cookies it seems that it is important to keep the dough cool during kneading. Note that the almond flakes on the top should not be broken up. The resulting cookie should be very hard and wonderfully butter-crispy.
- 18 ounces flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 drops almond oil
- 9 ounces sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 7 ounces butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 ounces ground almonds or 4 ounces ground hazelnuts
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves (this looks a bit too heavy on the cloves to me)
- 1⁄3 teaspoon ground ginger (optional, not all recipes use this)
- sliced almonds (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit (200 Centigrade / Gas Mark 6).
- Grease a baking sheet.
- Mix the flour and Baking powder together in a bowl.
- Make a well in the middle and put in the egg, sugar and spices and slowly work it all into a thick dough.
- Cut the cold butter into pieces and together with the ground almonds put on top of dough.
- Cover it all with a little more flour and knead it well to form a smooth dough. Note: If the dough is too sticky or gets warm, cool it a little in the refrigerator.
- Some recipes call for the dough to be left to rest for an hour in the refrigerator at this point.
- Roll out the dough nice and thin (they *are supposed* to be about 1/8th inch thick). If using flaked almonds on the top, sprinkle a few over the dough and pat into it very lightly.
- Cut out the cookies with Christmas Cookiecutters.
- Put Cookies onto greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 400F / 200C (Gas Mk 6) on the top slot in the Oven for about 15 minutes.
- Normally cut into Christmas tree, people, partridge and gift parcel shapes.
- Lightly Adapted From recipe posted by : Brigitte Sealing, Cyberealm BBS, Watertown, NY 315-786-1120.
- These are known as Speculaas or Speculoos in Belgium and the Belgians claim to have invented them :) Some German recipes call for ground hazelnuts rather than ground almonds but Belgian recipes don't. I've had them with hazelnuts in and they're very nice, so given the price of ground almonds -- :).