1 hour 30 minutes
The word Spekulaas comes from the Latin word “speculum”, meaning “mirror”. Traditionally, the dough was pressed into wooden, hand-carved moulds, representing “mirror” imprints on them. These imprints would often feature images of St. Nicholas and his life. The biscuits were made to honour him and were traditionally only made for the 6th of December, but these days, they are made during Advent and for Christmas in general.
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
210g caster sugar
20g St. Nicholas Spekulaas Spice
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp milk
380g all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
Cream softened butter and sugar until the mixture is a pale white. Add the Spekulaas Spice and salt and fold through.
Add the almond extract and milk to the bowl, a little bit at a time and mix.
In another bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Then add the flour mixture to the spice mixture, until all ingredients are evenly distributed, and the dough is quite firm.
With floured hands, shape the mixture into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and put into the fridge for an hour; this allows the dough to rest and the spices to develop.
Take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before baking. Prepare a work surface and rolling pin by flouring them. Also prepare a baking tray, lined with baking paper.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Roll the dough out thinly and press into your chosen mould, ensuring to cut the excess dough off around the edges. Alternatively, cookie cutters and biscuit stamps also work.
Place the biscuits on the prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
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