Speculaas Cookies

Christmas is coming in two weeks. So time to get ready and start baking. I love baking different things and experimenting each year. I try and stick to the Christmas theme. Mostly aiming at the traditional dishes which we haven’t ventured into yet. This one is Speculaas Cookies. Speculaas originated from Germany which are spiced shortbread biscuits. I don’t think I need to say anything more. Spiced and shortbread says it all. They are extremely delicious. Sometimes I feel they will replace Gingerbread cookie in the Best Christmas Cookie category. The major difference between these cookies and Gingerbread is that we add pepper to Speculaas. It creates a perfect blend of spicy, fragrant and sweet.

They are rolled cookies so you can cut them in any shape you want. My partner luckily got me small Christmas tree cutters, which I used to imprint the shape on the round cookie. Please bake these cookies because a) they are not available in Mumbai (as far as I know) and b) they are so – so – so good!

Makes about 40 – 1 inch cookies

Ingredients –

  • 100 grams butter
  • 65 grams caster sugar
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 235 grams flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Directions –

  • In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda and all the spices.
  • In a separate bowl cream sugar and butter until light and creamy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  • Add the flour mix to the butter mixture in 3 parts and mix until everything is combined.
  • Divide the dough and form a ball. Wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. Sandwich the dough between two parchment papers and roll it till 1/2 or 1/3 cm thick.
  • Take cookie cutters and cut into desired shapes. If you have small cookie/fondant cutters, you can use them to imprint the cookies. Lightly press into the cookie halfway in. So the shape is very clear but not cut fully through. Reuse and reshape the scraps.
  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or till brown.

Notes –

  • Originally they use a springerle pin which imprints the design on the cookie. The availability of springerle pin is very scarce in Mumbai hence we make do with smaller cookie cutters or cookie stamps.
  • You can adjust the spices according to your liking.
  • You can freeze the dough for up to a month.

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