After munching my way through literally kilo's of these biscuits in the almost 14 years that I've lived in Amsterdam, I thought it was about time, as, I suppose the culmination of my integration process to actually try to make them! And, surprise surprise, its really easy. The secret, as they say, is in the spices.
First though, a bit of background. During the month of November and December in the Netherlands things seem to take a turn to all things spicy - not hot spices, but the ones you associate with cold winter nights. You know the kind of thing, cinnamon, ginger, cardomom, nutmeg, cloves. The spices that evoke memories of the festive season. Festivities in Holland begin with the run up to "Sinterklaas", this is kind of their version of Santa, but I think he's much less jolly - he does though, come earlier, 5th December instead of 25th.
This type of flavour is used in many guises during the festive season in the Netherlands, you'll find it in cakes, cookies, as a mix with marzipan and with all sorts of creative twists. I just the love the smell it creates when you are baking. its quite a good recipe for inexperienced bakers as you don't have to posses baking skills or be au fait with all sorts of techniques. The result is really rustic, so it is a very kind recipe for those of us who are not to good on the presentation front!
- Ingredients for approx. 16 biscuits
- 250gr self raising flour
- 150gr dark muscavado sugar
- 2 x heaped tbspn speculaas spices
- Pinch of salt
- 100gr cold butter from the fridge
- 3 x tbspn butter milk or regular milk
- Optional: Peeled almonds to decorate
- Place the flour, sugar, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and crumb this together by running the mix through your fingers from your pinkies to index finger until it becomes like breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture, add the butter milk.
- Using your hand like a whisk bring the mix together until it is in one ball. If it really doesnât come together, try adding another drop of butter milk.
- Dust down a cool surface with a little flour, remove the dough from the bowl and knead gently for a minute until it becomes one equal mass.
- 6 Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film and place back in the fridge for an hour.
- After the hour, pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees .
- Place baking parchment onto your baking tray. Remove the dough from the fridge, dust your cool surface and your rolling pin with flour and roll the mix out until it is about 1cm thick.
- Roll the dough over your rolling pin and place it on your baking tray.
- If you wish to add almonds, this is the point at which to do this. Press them about halfway into the dough, roughly spaced on each side by about 5cm.
- Place in the oven for about 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool and break into rough pieces to serve.
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 1g|
|Recipe makes 16 servings|
|Calories from Fat 3||43%|
|Total Fat 0.34g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0.21g||1%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 0.75g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.0g||0%|