What will you nibble on in front of the big game today? Which team are you going to support? I fancied baking some cookies, and searched for a recipe for Speculaas, Dutch spiced cookies. I have discovered that there are oodles of recipes, and many bloggers show their family recipe. Well, I cannot claim to have any family connections in Holland, but I loved the sound of the spiced cookies. I have also recently received a packet of the Vandotsch speculaas spice mix which is based on the family recipe.
I have adapted a recipe I found on Joy of baking (see Speculaas). And though traditionally they are served in December, I don't see why I cannot have a good baking session during the heat wave and cheer Holland in the World Cup on the way.
Speculaas (makes 38 cookies)
175g golden brown sugar
1 medium egg
2tsp Vandotsch speculaas spice mix
zest of 1 orange
1tsp baking powder
200g plain flour
50g ground almonds
a pinch of salt
130g butter, softened
almonds, halved, for decorating.
Beat the egg with the sugar and spice mix in a big bowl. Add the orange zest, baking powder, salt, flour and ground almonds, keep mixing with a fork. Add the softened butter and mix well. Using hands, shape the cookie dough in a big ball and put the bowl with the dough in the fridge for half an hour.
Sprinkle the working surface with more flour and roll the dough into a big flat square-ish piece, up to 5mm thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out small circles.
The authentic speculaas are made with a cookie mould, often depicting a windmill. I don't have cookie moulds, alas, and decided to do some Lego printing on the raw cookies. Take a Lego Duplo square and stamp each cookie.
Cut the almonds in halves and place in the middle of each cookie. Place the trays into the oven preheated to 180C. It will take about 15 minutes to cook, until the cookies get golden brown. They will still be quite soft when you take the trays out. Let them cool, and they get crispy.
They are lovely cookies, with a good amount of spice in them.
If you don't have a Vandotsch speculaas spice mix, you can substitute it with a mix of ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
I'll be posting more international recipes to celebrate the World Cup. Yesterday I cooked a Croatian recipe cevapi.
Chris from Cooking Around the World has challenged the foodies to take part in a culinary-football-themed game this month. Read all about the rules of the game in his linky Bloggers Around the World.