My lovely boyfriend surprised me with a new cookbook the other day, I think in the hope that I'd make him these cookies. I needed no pushing as speculaas have always been a favourite of mine. I think they are a favourite of my grandma's too, even when I was very little I remember there being a steady supply at her house.
What's not to love, they are crisp and crunchy, packed with delicious spices and usually are shaped in folk images. Sadly I didn't have any wooden mounds to make my cookies so improvised using a fluted round cutter and a snowflake cutter. The snowflake cutter stamped the cookies nicely, giving me classic looking cookies that will be great for gifting. I'll definitely be sharing some with my Gran, that is if I can stop boyfriend from eating them all first.(adapted from Women's Weekly, Christmas Baking)
125 grams butter (cut into cubes)
1 1/3 cups self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 tablespoons of milk
To make the Speculaas- Sift the flour, bicarb soda, spices, caster sugar and brown sugar into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub in with finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Divide the dough in two and press into disks, wrap each disk in plastic warp and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Dust your snowflake cutter with flour and press about half way into the cookie dough, so it leaves a stamp but doesn't cut through. Line up the fluted circle cutter around the snowflake imprint and cut out cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough, re-rolling the the off cuts as you go.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees c.
Bake the speculaas for around 20 minutes. Allow the cool completely on trays. They will rise quite a bit while baking, but will fall toward the end of baking or after removed from the oven to give a flat crisp cookie.