Friday, November 19, 2010

Dutch Speculaas Cookies

I have often thought about trading the Netherlands for Paris. This is all just hypothetical, but I can see myself enjoying a croissant everyday and living la joie de vivre in France. Baguettes, pain au chocolat, macarons, madeleines. What would I really miss from my home country? ... Speculaas Cookies! I'm sure I'll have to pack an extra suitcase just to take a fair amount of speculaas cookies with me.


Dutch Speculaas Cookies


What exactly is speculaas? Speculaas is a combination of different spices; cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and white pepper. You can easily make it yourself (I wrote the instructions down for you, scroll under), but I bought the spices allready combined. In case I forgot to mention, or that you haven't catched on - keep up! ;) - speculaas is a traditional Dutch/Belgian cookie that is made for the holiday St. Nicholas Eve on December 5th.


Speculaas Spices


I am very content with devouring a pack of store-bought speculaas cookies, but I wanted to make it from scratch myself. I googled a recipe and tried it out today. The cookies are delicious, however, this particular recipes seems to me as an American version of speculaas cookies. Meaning, a little too much butter and sugar. Not that there's anything wrong with that :), but I'm determined to find the perfect authentic Dutch speculaas recipe somewhere in the near future. Rating: 4 out of 5.



Speculaas Cookies: About.com

Ingredients: This will make a very large amount, I made half the recipe.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon *
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger *
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg *
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves *
- 1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom *
- 1/16 teaspoon ground white pepper *

*- If you have speculaas spices, substitute the spices listed above for 3 teaspoons speculaas spices

Instructions:
- Cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla until they are thoroughly mixed and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating the mixture on medium-high until it turns fluffy again.
- Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Turn the mixer speed to low and stir the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture in thirds, until the dough is fully mixed. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, until it is thoroughly chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the chilled dough to ¼-inch thick (⅛-inch thick if thin, crispy cookies are preferred) and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. If desired, use a traditional Belgian speculaas mold by pressing the chilled dough into the mold, cutting away the excess dough, and inverting the mold onto the baking sheet to release the cookie, design-side up.
- Bake the cut or molded cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges appear set and just begin to brown. Allow the speculaas to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.


Dutch Speculaas Cookies

15 comments:

Danielle said...

Interesting, I've never heard of them! They look good though(:

cakeje van eigen deeg said...

they look cute though! they look a bit like snickerdoodle cookies almost, due to the round shape foremost. but I bet they taste great and the smell of a fresh baked batch must have been wonderful.

Becca said...

mmmm these look really good. i've been itching to bake something for the past couple of days.

How To Be Perfect said...

These look very tempting, are they crisp or do they have a chew?

Paris Pastry said...

@How To Be Perfect: They're supposed to be crispy, but mine turned out chewy.

Lucie said...

They look a lot lighter in color than traditional speculoos (that's how it's spelled in France), no? In any case, they sound delightful!

Paris Pastry said...

@Lucie: It's true, these are lighter than they're supposed to be. The recipe needs tweaking!

petit fournil de paris said...

First, I adore your little text about, how you imagine living in France. :) That's really cute.
And, wow. That's such a interesting combination. I think it must taste brilliant. Hm, in any case it looks like this. ;)
Lovely regards,

xx, Jana from petit fournil de paris

SteelCityFlan said...

Sounds yummy. Extra butter, while not authentic, usually means good things :)

Ingrid said...

They both sound and look lovely!
~ingrid

Chele said...

Christmas in a biscuit! Love it
;0)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I've been curious about speculaas ever since trying a waffle in NYC with a spread made from the cookies. These look yummy, even if not the traditional version.

Eliana said...

Where have these cookies been all my life??? They look amazing!

Lily and the valley said...

I love it when you post traditional baking. Are they the same as the Speculoos you get in France?

Paris Pastry said...

@Lily and the valley: Yes they are :)