Speculaas

Speculaas

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
40

These are special crisp biscuits rich in butter and flavoured with brown sugar, spices and rum made especially for Saint Nicholas’ Eve in Holland. Sometimes the biscuits are in the shape of small rectangles sprinkled with almonds, and sometimes the biscuit mixture is pressed into elaborate moulds in the shape of men and women or Saint Nicholas himself.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
485g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
250g butter
345g brown sugar
3 tablespoons rum or brandy
1 egg white, to glaze
125g slivered blanched almonds, to decorate

Method

  1. Sift together 450 g flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ground aniseed, salt and ginger or pepper.
  2. Beat butter with brown sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in rum or brandy. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring until well combined, then form dough into a ball. Knead dough on a board sprinkled with remaining 35 g sifted flour.
  3. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 5 mm thick. With a sharp knife or cutter cut dough into 6 × 3 cm rectangles. Place on a buttered baking tray, brush with lightly beaten egg white and decorate with slivered almonds.
  4. Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven (190°C) for 12 minutes or until browned and firm. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin.
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