Posted in Recipes

Sophie’s festive speculaas, reposted!

Sophie's festive speculaas cookies!
Sophie’s festive speculaas cookies!
Speculaas (Dutch pronunciation: [spekyˈlaːs], Flemish speculoos, French spéculoos) is a type of short crust biscuit (cookie), traditionally baked for consumption on St Nicholas’ Eve in the Netherlands (December 5) and Belgium (December 6).
In recent years it has become available all year round. Speculaas are thin, very crunchy, slightly browned and, most definitely, have some image or figure (often from the traditional stories about St. Nicholas) stamped on the front side before baking, the back is flat.
Speculaas dough does not rise much.
Canadian moose & Canadian maple leaf speculaas cookies
Canadian moose & Canadian maple leaf speculaas cookies
Normally, Sinterklaas comes in Belgium, in the night of 5th december to 6th december. On the evening of the 5th of December, the children put their shoes next to the chimney. They lay sugar beets or carrots for the Saints horse. They also present food or drinks for Sinterklaas himself, near the chimney because he works a lot that night. He must be very hungry too. Also, he rides his white horse & works alongside his dark men, dark helpers, all night long. He does this when the children are asleep, on the roofs of each house. He gives mandarins, sweets & speculaas. Normally, he also gives presents to the children. We all love this lovely white bearded man. If you were a naughty child, the black men would spank you with the mitre from Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas on its white horse
Sinterklaas on its white horse
Sinterklaas & his black helpers
Sinterklaas & his black helpers

Dutch and Belgian versions are baked with light brown (beet) sugar ( cassonade sugar ) and baking powder. You can also use dark cannonade sugar so that the speculaas is darker in colour. Normally, we use speculaas spices, a blend of spices because it is more easier to use. We can buy that in 20 gr sachet in Dille & Kamille. That is a cook shop , their shops are located in many cities in The Netherlands & in Belgium. Their website is www.dille – kamille.be

Speculaas spices
Speculaas spices

You can read it in French & in Dutch. Most Speculaas versions are made from white flour, brown sugar, butter and spices. Some varieties use some almond flour and have slivered almonds embedded in the bottom.

I have 1 recipe with not every spice in it, but you can make your own speculaas mix with, easy like this:
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon,
1 tablespoon ground cloves,
1 tablespoon ground ginger,
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg &
1 tablespoon ground cardamom.
Method:
Mix all the spices well together & place in a fitting bowl & screw the lid well on. Shake well until all joined. Use 2 teaspoons.
Enjoy!! It works really well!!!
A famous Belgian & Brussels statue: Manneken Pis!
A famous Belgian & Brussels statue: Manneken Pis!

Yes, It’s Manneken Pis! Click on the link to find out who he is!!

My Recipe: for about 65 speculaas, small to medium-sized inclusive 2 larger Moose
Ingredients:
500 gr organic white flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
250 gr lighter brown cannonade sugar ( kinnekes suiker )
200 gr light salted butter, softened
2 organic eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons of speculaas spices / bought or home-made ( see note: above )
Method:
1. Take your Kenwood or Kitchen aide & put the K-paddle in.
2. In a large bowl, sieve the flour & sieve the baking powder. Set aside.
3. Put the softened butter in the fitting bowl together with the sugar. Mix it until it all is well combined.
4. Add the beaten eggs & mix well.
5. Add the speculaas spices & the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix until it all is well combined.
It is now brown in colour. Place the mix onto a floured silpat with floured hands & mix well until you have a thick dough, for about 1 to 2 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Place cling film all over & place into the fridge, on a plate, for at least 1 to 2 hours to stiffen up. You can also leave it overnight in the fridge. I never do. I can’t wait that long!
6. Preheat your oven to 175°C, ( 347 F ) if you are using a normal oven. 150°C ( 302 F ) fan oven, for 15 minutes. Take 2 oven racks out of the oven & lay silpats on them. I use a fan oven.
7. Take your dough out of the fridge, open the cling film & slice 1 big piece, 1/3 th of the dough. Place the other dough back into the cling film & place into the fridge until you want another piece to work with. So, that the dough will stay firm. Now, lay your silpat in front of you on the table. Flour well. Flour the rolling-pin & roll the dough out to 0,5 cm thick. With your favourite cookie cutters, cut out cookies & reuse the dough again & again until it is all used up. Do flour your Silpat from time to time, because you don’t want the dough to stick. Place onto a silpat on an oven rack, well spaced apart, about 1 inch ( 2,5 cm ) apart & bake for about 13 to 15 minutes until browned & cooked through. In my case, it took every time 15 minutes. Take out of the oven & place onto wiring racks to cool down completely. Do the same to the rest of the dough.
8. When the cookies are completely cold, place into cookie boxes to store or give them as presents.
These are crunchy cookies & a bit soft in the middle.
Enjoy with a good cup of coffee or an excellent cup of tea!
These treats make excellent food gifts!
A knight on his horse!
A knight on his horse!
An excellent food gift, seasonal too!
An excellent food gift, seasonal too!

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Sophies Foodie Files

You might like:

1. Gluten-Free & Egg-Free speculaas spiced apple muffins

2. Vegan spelt speculaas spiced rhubarb cake with chocolate chips 

3. Vegan rhubarb spelt speculaas crumble served in hot Devon custard ( the custrad is not dairy-free!!! )

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Author:

Hello! My name is Sophie & I love to cook & bake mostly healthily but with a twist! There is a bit of gardening & travelling in here too! Enjoy! :)

33 thoughts on “Sophie’s festive speculaas, reposted!

    1. Yep, but in the patisseries & good bakeries, you will find them with a Sinterklaas front instead of my cookie cutters!

  1. Aw Sophie, you’ve taken me straight back to my home-land. I still freak out a little bit when I see a photo of Zwarte Piet! Speculaas are my favourite cookies in the world. Wouldn’t mind one right now actually, with my morning coffee. The Manneken Pis cookie cutter is hilarious.

    1. hahahahhahha:) I don’t think that yoiu ever been a bad behaved girl!! 😉 xxx
      That manneken pis cookie cutter is really good but a bit tricky to cut the dough really well. But I did it anyway! 🙂

  2. Cute this cookies and love the introduction of it…like that they are crispy!
    Have a great week Sophie 🙂

  3. GreaT cookies!! I just read about Mannekin Pis this week…what a coincidence! I love hearing about how different countries celebrate Christmas and events…there’s always some interesting story involved 🙂

  4. Yum, yum.
    My weakness…carb goodies (cakes, pastries, cookies & biscuits)…I have so much temptation around me at this time as Lois is glad to bake them all…
    Got to up my work-outs to compensate. 🙂
    Lol! Those Black helpers look funny….maybe Sinterklaas, needs to find some real ones…or are they like that because they go down the chimneys?….hahahaaa. 😉

  5. Your cookies look amazing! Love the variety of cookie cutter shapes! And the spice mix looks delicious! Can this spice mix be used for anything else?

    1. Yes, you can use this spice mix in a lovely yoghurt, in cakes, in cookies, in pancake recipes, to add to the batter! The uses are endless!

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