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Monday, 18 February 2013

Hanna's Dutch Speculaas Cookies

These Dutch speculaas cookies are so good, crunchy and redolent with spices.

I was leafing through my file of recipes that friends and family have shared over the years when I found my sister Hanna's recipe for them. I'm sure she won't mind if I post it.

I've put the approximate metric equivalents in brackets alongside and noted some small changes which I made to the recipe as it was first written.

Ingredients:

7 oz ( 200 gm) of self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of speculaas spices ( e.g. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)
3.5 oz  ( 70 gm) of flaked almonds
4 oz ( 100 gm) of of castor sugar
4 oz ( 100 gm) of chilled butter 
2-3 tablespoons of milk

Method:

Sieve the flour, salt, spices and sugar into a bowl.
Add hard butter and mix and cut this in with a knife.
Add the sliced almonds.
Add the milk gradually and knead it into a firm but elastic mixture. Form it into a roll.
Wrap it up in tinfoil and leave overnight in the fridge to allow the spicy flavours to mingle. (although  if you are in a hurry you can just put it in the fridge for 1/2 hour)
Cut into 1/4 " slices. Put on an oven tray, leaving room to spread. Bake at 350C.

My notes:

To come together the dough needed an extra tablespoon of milk when I made them.
I used half brown sugar and half castor.
I just cubed the butter straight out of the fridge and put it with all the other ingredients ( except the almonds) into the bowl of a food processor. Then I whizzed until it became like very fine breadcrumbs and started to clump (not klomp!) together.
I poured this mixture into a bowl , added the almonds and kneaded it all together for a while till it made a dough.

I  put it in the freezer for 1/2 hour and then cut it into thin slices with a sharp serrated knife.
The cookies were baked on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
I baked them at 350C for about 20 minutes until the cookies had very slightly browned.
You can store the dough in the freezer

If you don't feel like making your own speculaas spices you can buy them from a Dutch shop, or use the Equagold brand which can be ordered online.I used Equagold.




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