Speculaas are traditionally thin, crisp, dark-brown windmill-shaped cookies that originated in the Netherlands where they are eaten at the celebration of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas in the Netherlands) on December 5th, as well as throughout the Christmas holiday season!
You don't need a mold to be able to enjoy these snapping crisp, delightfully spicy cookies. Try rolling out the dough and using your favorite cutters to make cookies that are just as elegant and fun. This recipe, developed by the folks at King Arthur Flour, calls for the specullas to be cut into star shapes.
These cookies were beyond delicious. As I was baking them the entire house smelled great. Once cooled, I tasted one and had to resist taking another. Nice and crisp, with lots of spice. I dare you to make these and then to limit yourself to just one cookie! :-)
Spiced Star Cookies (Speculaas)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground mace or 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
11/2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour or toasted almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 to 4 tbls. milk
1/2 cup confectioners’ or glazing sugar
3 to 4 tsps. milk or water
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, spices and salt. Stir in the flour, almond flour and baking powder, then enough of the milk to make a stiff dough.
Form the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment two baking sheets.
Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough 1⁄8-inch to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes and transfer the cookies to the prepared pans.
Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until they’re lightly browned around the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. As they cool, they’ll become quite hard.
To make the icing, stir together the sugar and enough milk or water to create a thick but drizzleable icing. Drizzle the icing along the cookies.