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Speculaas Cookies or Spicy Sinterklass Cakes

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Harriet

This traditional Dutch cookie recipe came with a mold I got 20 years ago. Speculaas is a corruption of the Latin speculum (mirror). The dough is pressed into carved molds that can be used for wall decorations. When turned out onto the cookie sheet, the picture appears as its mirror image, hence the name. In the Sinterklass season they are available in 2/3 cookie size to huge thick men and women up to 1 pound known as lovers. If molds are not available, roll dough to desired thickness and use gingerbread man cutter or other cutter shapes. They are great to make ahead around Christmas because they last a long time.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 30 servings

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Nutrition

Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 97 kcal
  • 5%
  • Fat:
  • 5.4 g
  • 8%
  • Carbs:
  • 10.9g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 1.4 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 11 mg
  • 4%
  • Sodium:
  • 56 mg
  • 2%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the brown sugar in milk. Combine the flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar and milk. Mix in 2 tablespoons of almonds and candied citron. Cut in the butter until it starts to form a dough, then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover dough and chill for about 1 hour for easier handling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Dust a wooden speculaas mold lightly with cornstarch. Firmly press the dough into the mold. Run a knife around the edges to trim off excess dough. Gently lift dough out of the mold or tap out onto a cookie sheet. Press remaining almond slivers into cookies to match the designs.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, just until the edges begin to darken. If your cookies are more than 1/2 inch thick, bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for up to 30 minutes. Cool cookies on wire racks to crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month. The flavor will get better with age.
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Reviews

Susanna
12
12/21/2006

This is my 80 year old Mom's favourite cookie and I decided on a whim to make them yesterday. I didn't have almonds or candied citron but it wasn't needed. I rolled them out - use plenty of flour. The flavour was amazing. I can't wait until my Mom tries them on Christmas day.

Annleih
8
7/21/2009

Thank you for this recipe. I tried it when a Belgian friend of mine was coming to visit me. I have also been to Belgium and tasted the original Speculaas made by a famous cafeteria in Bryssels. So, I baked the dough in two parts. In the first part I liked the texture of the cookies baked according to this recipe. But I thought there was way too much lemon peel. One tablespoon is more than enough! In my opinion there was also too less spices! So I added 1 tsp more of each. Finally I decided to add some white sugar in addition to the brown sugar to make it more tastefull. So I liked better the second, adapted part of the cookie dough.

joyello18
7
12/15/2008

Decent for a spice cookie, but not as good as the Windmill cookies you can buy at the store (this is rare for a storebought cookie to be better than a homemade one). Nix the citron, it is unnecessary to the flavor, hard to find, and makes the cookies more fragile due to the chunks in an already crumbly dough. I diced the almonds as small as I could by hand, will probably blend them next time instead, as I prefer these cookies to be smooth. I don't have a mold, so I rolled these very very thin, 1/4 inch or thinner, and used a cookie cutter. A star cutter didn't work, as the points kept falling off. A bell worked well, as did a standard circle. I baked them two minutes longer than suggested, to get an extra crunchy finish. They are lightly sweet and good with hot herbal tea.