Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dutch Speculaas Biscuits

I first fell in love with these Dutch biscuits when I moved to Brisbane and worked next door to an amazing continental delicatessen. There were so many unknown treats to be discovered under it's roof.

We ate them often.

It was only a few years ago that I baked speculaas for myself. Where we live now, they are not so readily available. After baking them at home, it is impossible to go back to the store bought variety. I usually make them only for Christmas. I have always used this flower cookie cutter for some reason, but next year I might invest in one of these gorgeous windmill molds.

Out of the four batches of different biscuits I cooked the other day, these were the most satisfying. The dough formed well and was very easy to work with, we had these made in no time. Not to mention, they are delicious.

makes 20 - 30 biscuits

• 125 grams unsalted butter (softened)
• 3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

• 1 1/2 tablespoons rum
• 1 1/2 cups plain flour

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground aniseed

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

• 1 egg white (lightly beaten)

• 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Grease and prepare baking trays. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the rum and mix well. Gradually sift in the flour, baking powder and all of the spices, stirring until well combined. Bring the dough into a ball and then transfer to a well floured bench to knead for a couple of minutes. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 5mm. Cut out your shapes with a cookie cutter (dutch windmills are traditional) or even into rectangles with a sharp knife. Brush the biscuits with egg white and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 12 minutes or until they are golden brown and firm. Allow to cool on the trays.

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