|Margarita's International Recipes|
Speculoos are spice cookies traditionally eaten in Belgium during the Christmas season. They are cut into different shapes and double as Christmas decorations and snacks. They are amazingly tasty and even addictive! After baking them (and testing one), I actually dropped both baking sheets, with all the cookies, on the (quite dirty) kitchen floor. Of course, I couldn't serve them to my guests, but they were sooo good, that I couldn't help but eating them myself. I think they will become a Christmas tradition in our home as well.
I steered from the original recipe a bit. I found it very difficult to work with the dough, so instead of rolling it into a large rectangle, trimming the edges and cutting the dough into squares as the original recipe called for, I rolled it out as much as I could and I cut it with my Christmas cookie cutters. I figure this was consistent with Belgian tradition. The dough was very sticky so I had to use a lot of flour to repeatedly dust the working surface and the rolling pin.
The original recipe calls for you to decorate them with melted white chocolate and red sugar, though I'm not sure if that's how it's actually done in Belgium. I never got to the decorating stage as I dropped them before that.
Belgian Spice Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- flour for rolling
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream brown sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix until combined.
Divide the dough in two halves. Flatten each half and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two baking sheets. Lightly flour a work surface and your rolling pin. Roll out each dough piece until very thin. Cut cookies with a cookie cutter, roll out remaining dough and cut again. Repeat with the second dough piece.
Put cookies on the baking sheets and bake until the edges start to darken, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.
Decorate any way you like.
Adapted from a recipe at epicurous.com.