I did mentioned my all-time-favourite biscuits before, but this time I’d like to praise my NEW favourites – Speculaas, Dutch spiced biscuits. Traditionally served on the eve of the Feast of St Nicholas, in early December. However, we started to nibble on them late in October, on our trip to Holland. I grew up eating Piparkūkas (Latvian ginger biscuits). I like them a lot, but I find Speculaas to be much lighter, wonderfully spiced and moreish.
These took just a litre bit longer to prepare, compared to my Clove & Hazelnuts Cookies, mainly due to arranging the almond flakes on them. But as a reward for your efforts, you’ll get a good amount of these beauties, depending on the size of your cookie cutters, of course!
100g butter, softened
250g plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
flaked almond for decoration (optional)
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, beat in the egg.
Sift together the flour, cornflour, baking powder, cinnamon, gender, nutmeg, cloves and allspice, plus a pinch of salt. Add it to the butter mixture and stir to form a firm dough. Shape it to the large, flat cake shape and place it to the fridge to chill for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment.
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of cling film to approx 2-3 mm thick. Cut into any Christmas shape you like, transfer to the baking sheets, making sure you leave a gap between each shape. Decorate the tops with almonds, if using.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave on the trays for another 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.