I grew up with Swedish gingerbread cookies, but spending a number of years in Belgium and subsequently marrying a Dutchman introduced me to speculaas and I love the more peppery flavor they have, so I wanted to share this recipe with you! It yields A LOT of cookies, depending on what size you want to make them. Enjoy!
Speculaas Cookie Recipe (makes approx. 100 cookies depending on size!)
Ingredients:1 cup butter, softened 2 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup sugar 1 ¼ cup brown sugar 3 ½ cup flour 2 tsp baking soda 4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp ground nutmeg ½ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp ground cardamom ½ tsp ground white pepper a pinch salt (omit if using salted butter)
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. 2. Cream butter, vanilla, and both sugars until light and fluffy. 3. Add both eggs and blend well. 4. Whisk flour and spices together and slowly add to butter mix, combining until dough pulls from the side of the bowl. 5. Divide the dough in half. ** Here, either wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours OR use it right away, although it will be a little more sticky, so make sure to use flour to prevent it from sticking to rolling pin and countertop. (Recipe continued under picture) Options for baking: 1. Sprinkle work surface and dough lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out dough with a rolling pin to 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick and cut with cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cookies to cookie sheet, placing about an inch apart. OR: 1. Roll dough into logs (the amount depends on how big you want your cookies). Freeze for 10-20 min. 2. Take out and cut into thin rounds. Place about an inch apart on cookie sheets. 3. Topping options: You can decorate the round more rustic cookies with either an almond or a sliver of almond, or sprinkle with sugar (you can use colored red or green sugar if you want) Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Once cool, store in an airtight container.