Fill your home with the scent of Christmas (you don’t need to spend all Christmas Eve baking) Part 1

My mother emigrated from the Netherlands as a small child. I like to make these Speculaas biscuits at Christmas time to keep a family tradition alive. They are spicy and delicious. You can make the dough and cut them out a few days ahead, and bake them on Christmas morning to release their delicious aroma. In fact the longer you leave the dough to rest in the fridge, the more fragrant they become.Speculaas

I found this recipe from the Gourmet Traveller magazine, but I made a few changes to make it taste more like the Speculaas I know. In the Netherlands you can buy Speculaas spice mix, but the closest substitute I have found is allspice. Ginger and ground cloves are also key to a really good mix of spices. True Speculaas are made in a special wooden mould which produces a biscuit in the shape of a windmill. I have one of these moulds, handed down from my mother. However, when I tried to use it the dough got stuck in the mould. I would love some advice from anyone who knows how to use a Speculaas mould!

Ingredients

For the dough:
500 gm plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250 gm brown sugar
220 gm butter
4 tbsp milk

For the spice mix:
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
pinch each, salt and pepper

Method

1  Mix the flour, baking soda, sugar and spices:

2  Add the softened butter. Rub it in between your fingers until it resembles damp sand:

3 Add the milk and mix it together to form a dough. If the mixture is too dry, keep adding more milk.

4  Leave it in the fridge for several hours. The longer you leave it, the more the spices will permeate the dough.
According to Gourmet Traveller, you can leave it up to three days in the fridge. I like this recipe because I can serve a freshly baked treat on Christmas day, but I can prepare it when I can find time in the days leading up to Christmas.
See the final result in Part 2.
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2 thoughts on “Fill your home with the scent of Christmas (you don’t need to spend all Christmas Eve baking) Part 1

  1. Great post! I love Speculaas. If you sprinkle your mould with flour, the won’t stick. And roll them thin so they will be crunchy.

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