Speculaas - Dutch Spiced Cookies

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Belle's all-time favorite cookie, Speculaas, is of Dutch origin and are traditionally baked for the Christmas season. These thin, crunchy cookies are scented with speculaaskruiden, which is an aromatic mix of cinnamon, mace, ginger, clove, anise and nutmeg, and they are oh-so-amazing.

They are usually molded in shapes such as houses, animals, windmills, and even Dutch boys and girls. Since we don't have these molds, we rolled the dough, cut them out and pressed ornaments onto them to make the pretty patterns. 

If you like gingerbread or pumpkin loaf, you're going to love speculaas. Hope you'll give it a shot and find out why Belle loves it so much.

435 g (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp mace

225 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 g (1 cup) sugar
200 g (1 cup) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugars until pale and almost doubled in volume.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until it fully incorporates before adding the next one. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
4. Add the vanilla.
5. Fold in the flour in 3 batches, mixing just until the dough pulls away from the sides. 
It will still be a bit sticky.
6. Divide the dough into 2, shape into a disk, and refrigerate anywhere from 4 hours to 4 days.

7. Let dough come to a pliable state at room temperature, then roll out to 1/4" or 1/2cm thickness on a lightly floured surface.
8. Bake on parchment lined baking sheets in a preheated 350ºF oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until just slightly browned on the edges.

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