Spice cookies


Tags: Cakes & Cookies

500 ml flour - 2 cups
250 ml butter or margarine - 1 cup
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
125 ml dark brown or Demarara sugar - ½ cup
50 ml milk - 3-4 tbsp
slivered almonds
40 ml/35 grams ‘speculaas kruiden’* - 1½ tbsp

(* speculaaskruiden from your favourite Dutch import store or make it yourself: a mix of 20 grams cinnamon, 10 grams ground nutmeg, 5 grams ground cloves, a pinch of cardamom powder, a pinch of ginger powder.)

Sift the flour over a large cutting board or countertop. Sprinkle the baking powder over it, the salt and sugar. Thinly slice the (hard) butter or margarine and add it to the flour-and-sugar mix. Add the milk and hand knead all until there is a firm but malleable dough. Pack the dough into a piece of foil and keep in the fridge overnight (to allow the spices to penetrate the cookie dough).

If you have a ‘speculaasplank’ (special wooden speculaas mold, available from some Dutch import stores) dust it with flour. Press the dough into the hollows, cut off the excess and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Shake the dolls out onto a dusted countertop. Put flat, almond-covered side down on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC / 350ºF for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the size of the dolls.

If you don’t have a ‘speculaasplank’, roll the dough out into a thin layer and shape, use cookie cutters or cut it into squares.