Speculaas Spiced Cookies For Christmas

I have made Speculaas cookies before, mostly recent an all butter version, but today I am making the traditional spiced version which is so enjoyed in the Low Countries such as The Netherlands and Belgium.  Traditionally they are made in cookie moulds, where the dough it pressed into the mould and then turned out for baking.

I recently acquired some moulds for doing just that, so I used them, but I also rolled some dough out as well to use cookie cutters.  These cookies can be made using cookie cutters, as long as the dough is chilled and then the work surface is well floured.  For mine I used rice flour dusted into the moulds, and on the work surface, to stop the dough from sticking. That worked fine.

The mix of spices is cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, ginger and white pepper in differing amounts to make a wonderful but subtle mix of spices.  Below the recipe I will detail how to make some of the spice mix(more than is needed for this recipe), so if you can’t find a store bought version of the spice mix you can make your own and keep some for another time.

The recipe is very simple and quite quick to make and delivers a crunchy flavoursome cookie/biscuit which is ideal at Christmas time.

If you want a slightly less crunchy, but more brittle, cookie you can omit the baking soda from the recipe.

I was extremely pleased with how mine turned out and will be making more between now and Christmas Day.  They taste wonderful with the heavenly flavour of all the spices and a nice buttery crunch to them.

Speculaas Spice Cookies
Speculaas Spice Cookies – Video

Ingredients:

  • 225g(1 3/4cups + 1tsp) Cake and Pastry flour(00 flour) see note below
  • 113g(1 stick) softened unsalted butter
  • 125g(5/8 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 30ml(2 tbsp) milk or buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp speculaas spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Rice flour for dusting moulds and counter

For Speculaas Spice Mix:  this makes more than you need, use the remainder for cookies.

  • 6 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground mace(or nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Method:

  1. Mix the flour, speculaas spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar together until fully combined.
  3. Add the milk and mix until all is smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture and quickly mix into a dough, using your hands to pull it all together.
  5. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap, then chill for at least an hour(overnight will let the flavour develop even further).
  6. For cookies in a mould dust the mould with rice flour and press some dough into it until it is filled.  Cut off the excess, slicing with a very sharp knife that is laid flat against the mould.
  7. Turn out onto a lined baking tray and repeat for the remaining dough.
  8. For cookie using a cookie cutter flour the work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch and cut out the shapes placing them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  9. Chill the cookies again while the oven is pre-heating to 165C/145C Fan/330F.
  10. When the oven is at the correct temperature bake the cookies for 16 to 18 minutes, until the edges just start to change colour.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

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