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Speculaas biscuits recipe

Speculaas biscuits recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies

Homemade Dutch speculaas biscuits with almonds. Traditionally the dough would be pressed into a wooden mould in the shape of a windmill or a man or woman, but you can cut them out into any shape you like.

44 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • For the biscuits
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons speculaas spice mix (see footnote)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 50g finely chopped almonds
  • To decorate
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 50g flaked almonds

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:30min › Ready in:1hr

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, spice mix, salt, brown sugar, butter and water and knead together until well combined. Place ball of dough, wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Cover baking trays with parchment.
  3. Roll out the dough to 5mm thick. Cut out biscuits in any shape you like. Lay the biscuits on the prepared baking tray. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and let cool on wire racks.

Spice mix

Use this recipe for real Dutch speculaas spice mix, or substitute with mixed spice for a slightly different tasting biscuit.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(12)

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  • 100g / 3.5oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g / 2oz soft brown muscavado sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 75g / 2.5oz butter
  • 2 tbsp candied peel, finely chopped
  • flaked almonds, to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, muscavado sugar, milk, butter and candied peel until well combined.

Using your hands, bring the mixture together as a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 0.5cm/?in thickness.

Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes or circles from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Decorate the tops of the biscuits with flaked almonds, if using.

Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack, then serve.


Cook's Notes:

I always flour my baking sheets rather than greasing them when baking I personally think it has a much better quality. If you do not want to flour the baking sheet, you must grease it.

If you really want to have a lot of fun, purchase a speculaas plank, which is a wooden mold created especially for these cookies. Flour the mold and gently press the dough in. Flip the mold over the baking sheet and peel the cookie out. I am constantly praised and asked about my gorgeous, delicious cookies and frequently use them as Christmas gifts and treats when I've used the mold.


Speculaas Cookie Sandwiches

These Dutch-inspired spiced Christmas cookies are sandwiched together with a rich orange, cinnamon and nutmeg-infused ganache.

What would Christmas be without a batch of freshly baked cookies and biscuits. This recipe makes 30 biscuits and 15 sandwiches once assembled.

(4oz) light muscovado sugar

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

(7 fl oz (⅓ pint)) double cream

Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, about 3-4min, then beat in the milk. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate, spices and ½tsp fine salt. Fold into the creamed butter and sugar mixture in stages until a dough forms. Divide into 2 equal pieces and shape into flattish discs. Wrap each in clingfilm. Chill for at least an hour or up to 2 days.

Remove dough from fridge half an hour before rolling. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Roll out a disc of dough to the thickness of a £1 coin &ndash about 5mm (¼in). Use a 6cm (2½in) round biscuit cutter to stamp out about 15 rounds from each batch of dough, transferring to a baking sheet lined with baking paper and re-rolling as you go. If you wish, stamp a pattern by dusting the base of a heavy glass lightly in flour, then pressing into each biscuit. Chill for 30min until firm. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 15-18min until firm. Transfer on the baking paper to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the ganache, gently heat the cream until just steaming. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Set aside to melt for a few min, then stir until smooth and glossy. Chill in the fridge for about 1hr, until thick and spreadable. Spread or pipe on to biscuits and sandwich together. Pack into cellophane bags, tie with ribbon and attach labels.

If you can&rsquot find flavoured chocolate like Maya Gold, use 70% chocolate and stir through the zest of an orange and a pinch of mixed spice.

To create the pattern, all you need is a heavy glass with a cut-glass pattern on the base.


Speculaas (Dutch spiced cookies)

Like little pieces of art, these deliciously buttery Dutch spice biscuits are made using a traditional springerle mould, or you can improvise with our clever cheat's tip.

Preparation

Cooking

Skill level

Ingredients

  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 125 g brown or muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • rice flour, for dusting moulds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Cooling time 15 minutes

Freezing time 30 minutes

Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.

Sift together the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until just combined. Beat in the milk. Add the flour mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined and a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into two portions and shape each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour (see Baker’s tip) or until firm enough to roll.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one portion of dough on a lightly floured benchtop until 4 mm thick. Lightly dust the surface of a springerle mould with rice flour. Cut a piece of the dough slightly larger than the mould. Place the piece of dough over the dusted mould to cover and use the rolling pin to roll over the dough lightly twice to imprint the dough. Flip the dough over onto a lined baking tray, using a palette knife or the tip of a sharp knife to gently ease the dough out of the mould onto the tray if it doesn’t come out on its own. Use a dry pastry brush to dust off any flour on the top of the biscuits and then use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the biscuits, reserving the off-cuts.

Repeat with the remaining dough, re-rolling any off-cuts, placing the biscuits about 2 cm apart on the trays. Place the trays in the freezer for 30 minutes or until the biscuits are frozen.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced).

Place the biscuits in the preheated oven, reduce the temperature to 130°C (110°C fan-forced), and bake for 40 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until cooked through. Cool on the trays.

Baker’s tips

• You can buy springerle moulds online at The Clock Shop and Cookie Cutter Shop.

• You can make these cookies using a springerle rolling pin, which makes multiple cookies at a time. Roll out the dough until 4 mm thick. Use a lightly floured springerle rolling pin to roll firmly over the dough to mark. Use a dry pastry brush to dust off any flour, then use a sharp knife to cut them into portions. Transfer to the lined trays and bake as above.

• To make these biscuits without a springerle mould or springerle rolling pin, roll out the dough until 4 mm thick. Use a 6 cm fluted or plain round cutter to cut out the biscuits. Transfer to the lined trays leaving about 2 cm between the biscuits. Gently press small sprigs of rosemary into the dough rounds to imprint and then bake as above.

• The dough can be made and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until pliable enough to roll easily.

• These biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.

This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Festive cookies column.

View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.

Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour with spices, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and mix well.

Stir in by hand half the flour mixture, then add the remaining flour and almonds. Mix with a wooden spoon or knead with hands.

Divide dough into four parts, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours. (If you are using a mold, chill it as well.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and grease two cookie sheets.

Remove one quarter of the dough from the refrigerator and flatten it with your hands. Oil your mold and lightly flour it. Using your fingers, press dough firmly into the mold. Trim any excess dough from the mold with a knife.

Transfer the cookies onto greased cookie sheets with a spatula, spacing about one inch apart.

Refrigerate dough trimming to be rerolled later. Lightly flour but do not re-oil cookie mold.

Repeat process with remaining dough. When cookie sheets are full, bake cookies for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Store in a covered tin.


  • 5 1/4 ounces light brown candi sugar, such as Brewer's Best, or deeply toasted sugar (about 2/3 cup, firmly packed 150g)
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, soft but cool, about 70°F (6 tablespoons 85g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda (4.75g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon (1.5g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kinako (roasted soybean flour 1g), such as Shirakiku, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg (0.25g)
  • Shy 1/8 teaspoon (0.35g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
  • Shy 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (0.15g)
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom (0.10g)
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground anise (0.10g)
  • 1/2 ounce tap water (about 1 tablespoon 15g)
  • 5 1/2 ounces ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups 155g)

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position, and preheat to 350°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine candi or toasted sugar with butter, baking soda, cinnamon, kinako, nutmeg, salt, cloves, cardamom, and anise. Cream on medium speed until fluffy, soft, and pale, about 10 minutes, pausing to scrape the bowl and paddle as needed if the sugar seems dense and compacted at the bottom of the bowl.

While creaming on medium speed, slowly splash in the water a little at a time. Once it disappears into the fluffy butter/sugar mix, reduce speed to low and add the flour all at once. Continue mixing until the dough begins to gather around the paddle.

Turn the dough onto a clean surface, and knead gently to form a ball. Pat into a rectangular shape, then dust with flour, above and below. Roll to a thickness of 3/16-inch, using a ruler for guidance. Slide an offset spatula beneath the dough to loosen, and brush away the excess flour.

With a fluted pastry wheel, cut the dough into 3/4-inch strips, then cut crossways to form 2-inch rectangles. With the offset spatula, transfer the cutouts and scraps to a parchment-lined half sheet pan, leaving an inch between each piece to account for spread.

Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through if needed to ensure even browning. Cool to room temperature directly on the baking sheet the cookies will not crisp until fully cool. Enjoy with coffee, and store leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 month at room temperature the scraps can be ground to use for crumbs and frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


Mastering The Speculaas Cookie – Dough And Mold

I have to say, it was harder than I thought. For some reason I just couldn’t get the dough to come out of the mold and when I did manage to get them out of the mold the cookies would spread too much and lose too much of their details for me to consider them proper speculaas cookies. I tried everything, used different types and mixes of sugar, used honey, but nothing worked. Or, in all honesty, using part honey did work but I really didn’t like the taste of it, it didn’t taste like a proper speculaas cookie.

After many, and I mean MANY attempts I finally figured out the secret to getting the cookies out of the mold easily. It’s rice flour! Sprinkle some rice flour on your mold before putting the dough in and they should come out relatively easily. I also came up with a recipe for the dough that worked for me to keep as much detail as possible to the cookies without losing the flavor of the cookie. I’m excited to share the recipe with you, I hope it works just as good for you as it does for me.


SPECULAAS SPICE BISCUITS

Mix and keep the spice mix in little jar. I made extra batch for future use.

Beat the soft butter or margarine and sugar together until creamy and beat in the egg, egg yolk and flavouring. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together until a dough is formed, adding just enough milk to allow the dough to hold together. Knead lightly only until even and smooth.

Grease two baking trays (about 380 x 280 mm) well with margarine and sprinkle half the of the flaked almonds, if used, evenly over both trays. Divide the dough in half for the 2 trays and place portions all over each tray. Press down and cover the whole bottom of tray with the dough. Recipe suggests rolling but my rolling pin is too long. I did use the cylindrical tube from my cookie gun (or icing gun would also work in same way) to eventually roll it evenly all over.

Note:
It’s a bit fiddly getting all the portions of dough together so it’s easier to break up lots of little pieces to spread over the tray as opposed to a few big pieces of dough. Makes the pressing together much quicker. It is a thin dough.

Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg white to glaze and sprinkle the remaining flaked almonds over the top. Carefully cut the dough with a smooth knife into the size preferred. I cut into three even sections lengthwise and into fingers of about 35mm wide crosswise. This gives you the 60 biscuits as per recipe. Prick the biscuits decoratively with a fork to facilitate drying out.

Bake at 180°C for 18 – 20 minutes or until the biscuits just start to change colour. Take care not to brown at all as it will spoil the taste.
Cool for 5 minutes in the tins then carefully remove to a cooling rack to become cold and crisp.

Note:
I found I had to cut along the lines again to separate the biscuits from one another and did so as soon as they came out of the oven and was still warm.

Yields 60 biscuits depending how you cut them.

Store in airtight containers for several weeks. Flavour improves with maturing. 😂 well we won’t know because it lasted exactly 3 days!


Recipes, News and More.

Cambridge-based Helen, Jewish mother, family cook and food blogger at Family-Friends-Food.com, used vandotsch speculaas spice in one of her mother’s old recipes in order to make speculaas date cookies.

Although dates are one of the many symbolic foods for Rosh Hashana – the Jewish new year festival – that normally takes place in the Autumn, both Helen's friends as I were a little surprised to see these cookies in June.

However, they are delicious all year round.

Helen omitted the traditional half a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and found that the speculaas spices added a subtle warmth that went very well with the dates, while the familiar soft texture of her mother’s date biscuits was unchanged.

How to make Helen's speculaas date cookies

What follows is an overview of the ingredients that Helen used to make the vandotsch speculaas spiced date biscuits, including:

Makes approximately 34 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 155g margarine or butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5g (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 5g (1 tsp) of vandotsch speculaas spice mix
  • 255g self-raising flour
  • 200g chopped stoned dates

I would like to refer to Helen’s write-up for directions on how to bake her vandotsch speculaas date biscuits.

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