Dutch spiced cookies
( MAKES 20 cookies )
Photo by Tam West
Also known as speculaas, or Dutch windmill cookies, these traditional biscuits are eaten in the Netherlands to celebrate St Nicholas’ Feast. Part of the culinary secret lies in the special blend of spices made up of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, aniseed, ginger and cardamom. I used a really nice speculaas blend bought online at equagold but you can use your own blend (see box below). The dough is traditionally (and best) made a day in advance to give all the ingredients a chance to blend and develop their flavour.
|2 tsp||Baking powder|
|3 tsp||Speculaas spice blend, store bought or see below|
|130 g||Soft brown sugar|
Speculaas spice mix
- Heat the oven to 165C. Sift flour with baking powder, salt and spices.
- Cream the butter and sugar then add milk. Add in flour mixture and knead into a ball.
- Press into a disc shape, roll out to 3mm thin and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Cut out Christmas shapes then bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes.
- Keep a close eye on them during the later stage of the baking, you don’t want your cookies too dark. Allow to cool then transfer to a wire rack. A good cookie should be crunchy all the way through, from the edges to the centre. Store in an airtight container.
More festive baking from Geoff