One of my most favorite cookies for Christmas (and during the year) are Dutch Speculaas. I love the crispness and the spice. Ideal with a cup of tea. As Speculaas are hard to find here in Switzerland, I decided to try to make my own. Luckily last year for Christmas we were in the Netherlands and I was able to get some cute wooden Speculaas molds. Of course you could use any cookie cutter you have at home to make Speculaas, but with those wooden molds you are able to create the typical relief that distinguish those cookies. They work almost like a stamp.
You have to flour the molds carefully, otherwise the dough will stick to the mold and will be hard to remove. Clean the molds in between however, because too much flour or left overs of dough will compromise the relief of the cookies.
The spices you can either mix together by yourself or buy them in the shops. In the Netherlands you can buy Speculaas Spices, in German speaking countries I would say that Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) Spices come very close. The spices consist out of cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom. Just mix them together by using 1 tsp of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of the other ingredients. If you don’t have coriander at hand you can leave it out. If you like it a bit more spicy try to add a pinch of pepper.
To intensify the flavor of the spices the dough has to rest over night in the fridge. The next day take the dough out about half an hour before making the cookies to make it pliable. Give it a good knead again and press it into the floured molds. Cut away the excess dough with a sharp knife and flip the mold onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After baking let the cookies cool down completely and store them in an air tight container.
- 180g Soft Brown Sugar
- 160g Soft Butter
- 300g Flour
- 3 Tbsp Milk
- 2 Tsp Speculaas Spices
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
- Form a ball with your hands and wrap it in cling film
- Store in the fridge over night *
- The next day get the dough out 0.5-1 hour before processing it, to soften it. Give it another good knead with your hands until it is pliable.
- Flour your wooden forms well, so you can get the dough out more easily.
- Add a ball of dough and press it down firmly to get a good print on the cookie.
- Use a sharp knife and quickly cut away the additional dough
- Turn the wooden form on a baking sheet lined with baking paper
- Bake for 10-15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C, depending on the size of your forms. Bake until browned on the edges,
- * Storing it over night will allow the spices to infuse the dough. It will taste more intense.
- ** After some cookies the form will get filled with the dough and the print will be less intense. I would recommend to clean the form in between