Egg Free Speculoos / Speculaas/ Spekulatius For Sinterclaas – Spiced Belgian/ Dutch Windmill Biscuits/ Cookies
I.
Servings
5dozen
Servings
5dozen
Ingredients
For the Speculaaskruiden (Speculoos Spice Mix) :
For the Speculoos Cookies :
  • 1 1/2cups brown sugargolden
  • 1/8cup water(or more if you need it)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tsps speculaas spices from recipe above )
  • 150gm buttersoft , softened at room temperature (I used salted)
  • 2 3/4cups all-purpose flour
  • rice flourSome fine if using wooden moulds
  • almondsHalved to decorate (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the Speculaaskruiden (Speculoos Spice Mix, mix all the powdered spices together and store in an airtight glass jar. Use as required. This will keep for about 3 months without loss of flavour if in an airtight jar.
  2. For the Speculoos Cookies, mix the brown sugar, baking powder, the spices and the water in a bowl. Add the soft butter and the flour and make into a somewhat soft dough which is very pliable. You can do this in the food processor like I did. Do not overwork the dough. It should be smooth and pliable, neither soft and sticky nor too firm.
  3. You should be able to roll the dough out easily after lightly dusting your work surface with flour, especially if youu2019re going to use the wooden moulds. This video on making the dough is worth takinga look at. My dough was a little softer than the one in the video.
  4. Cover the dough with a plastic or clingwrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. This allows the flavour of the spices to steep into the dough, and make the dough easy to work with. The pattern of the moulds will also show up well with cold dough.
  5. When you take the dough out, it should be firm (not hard) yet soft enough to roll out or press into the moulds. If you are using new moulds, you have to season them first (see tips at the end of this post).
  6. Sprinkle very little rice flour onto the mould, making sure you have dusted the corners of the mould as well. Tap off the excess flour very well. You will need a little more flour if youu2019re using new moulds. Don’t over work with the dough now.
  7. If your dough feels a little dry, add a little water to get it to a softer consistency. Roll the dough into a long cylinder and pinch off a small bit and press it into the mould.
  8. Use a piece of thin nylon twine, or a sharp knife to cut off the excess. This takes a little practise. See this video to get an idea of how to use the mould to shape Speculoos. Now turn the mould upside down on a lightly greased or lined baking sheet and tap the mould to release the dough or use the end of a blunt knife to ease it out from the sides of the mould.
  9. You might have to end up banging it down, so donu2019t be surprised if your family and neighbours turn upto see what the fun is all about!
  10. Use up all the dough like this. If you donu2019t have moulds, roll out the dough between 1/4thand 1/8th of an inch thick, and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes of your choice. Transfer them to baking sheets and press down half an almond on each.
  11. Bake the cookies at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 15 minutes till the edges start browning. Any longer and the cookies will burn and become very hard. Since the dough is brown, it is important to keep an eye on the cookies as they bake to get an idea of how long they need to bake.
  12. The baking time will depend on the thickness of your cookies and the size of your mould. Let the Speculoos cool on the sheets for about 10 minutes when they will become harder and crunchier. Cool them completely on racks and store in airtight tins. Serve with coffee or tea or as you choose. These cookies keep so you can make a large batch when you make them.
  13. This recipe makes over 60 two inch cookies. I like the smaller sized cookies as theyu2019re perfect to serve with coffee or tea.
Recipe Notes

Some Tips That Might Help!

1. It is easy to make your own Speculoos spice mix, and you will see the difference in your cookies. If you can find the spices, then powder them yourself for a better flavour, rather than using spice powders to make this up.

2. Don’t overwork the dough. If you do, your Speculoos will become hard, like crackers. Some people make Speculoos this way and they taste just as good, but can be a bit hard on the teeth.

3. If the dough is feeling a little too dry after refrigeration, you can add a little but more water to make it pliable.

4. Make sure your dough is really cold before you make the Speculoos. Otherwise the pattern will not come out as clearly as it should. If your dough becomes warm, put it back in the fridge for a while.

5. If you are using new moulds you have to season them first. The previous night use a little cooking oil and generously wipe the moulds with it. They moulds will drink up the oil and they should have a slight shine the next morning but not be greasy.

6. If your moulds are new, generously flour them so the dough releases easily. You might find the dough sticking to the mould the first few times.

7. Gently brush off the excess flour from the Speculoos after baking.

8. Wash the moulds in mildly warm water and dry them before storing. A toothbrush works well to get the dough in the depressions in the moulds while washing.