Sunday, November 25, 2012

Speculating on Speculaas Koekjes - a real Dutch Treat for Christmas

Dutch Speculaas Cookies
Today is a filthy wet Sunday and I am happily stuck indoors with my knitting and the Sunday paper which I did venture out for earlier on, and browsing Facebook and the Twitter machine. I saw an enthusiastic post about Lidl's Spekulatius cookies from Susan (who blogs at Queen of Pots), and she had bought up the shop's stock from what I could gather. So in the interest of cookies, international cultural and culinary relations, and the much-vaunted Electric Ireland Random Acts of Kindness that Sean Moncrieff was banging on about on Newstalk last week as a fundraiser for Concern, (of course I'm too late for that but I hope they won the competition, especially as he was doing the final show of the week in a onesie as a random act of humiliation).

So I posted to Susan that I had a recipe so she asked if I'd blog it. Of course I will, and better still I'll make the darn things. So the dough was chillaxing in the fridge and I've just baked the first batch. The Dutch recipe is from a book called "Dutch Cooking Today" and is very simple. I'll post it and also a pic from the page which you can read. I'll also post a page of a German book called "German Baking Today" from Dr. Oetker who's well known for baking products (somebody's very busy today writing cooking and baking books!) which is much more complicated and way too much hassle for a quiet Sunday so I'll wait till another time to try that one, but for anyone ambitious out there in the blogosphere you can click on the photo and see the recipe.

So here goes.
The Recipe I used

Ingredients for Speculaas Koekjes (Spiced Biscuits)
200g/7oz Self-raising flour
125g/4oz soft brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Mixed Spice
Pinch Salt
150g/5oz chilled butter
1 Tablespoon milk

Mix flour, spices, sugar in a bowl.
Add butter, using knife chop up and rub in lightly with fingertips to breadcrumb texture. (Like short crust pastry)
Add milk and quickly knead to firm dough.
Wrap in cling film and put in fridge for 2 hrs minimum, ideally overnight to let flavours develop.
Preheat oven 175°C/375°F.
Cut dough into thin disc if it's been rolled into a sausage shape, or roll out flat and cut with cookie cutters.
Place on lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until nicely browned.
Result - a nice light-as-air spicy biccy perfect for dunking - briefly! - in tea or coffee!

Sausage of cookie dough and Stars 

My Dutch Cooking Bible!

German Spekulatius recipe - on my to-do list!

Sugar and Spice and all things nice…and flour!
chopping butter in the spicy floury mix
And I thought Dr. Oetker just made baking ingredients and pizza!
yum yum!


SusanC said...

This is great, Catherine! Thanks so much for posting. I'm still amazed that you baked them this evening. They look lovely! I'm definitely going to try this recipe out, not sure about the more 'advanced one' - maybe over Christmas.

The dish on the front of the Dutch cook book looks tasty too. Now I'm hungry.

Unknown said...

Looks yummy! I love spiced cookies, perfect for bringing on the Christmas spirit. Thanks for sharing this recipe- think I will have to get baking :-)

Catherine said...

Thanks SusanC and F for your kinds comments! And thanks to SusanC for inspiring this post! Yes it is Christmas in a biccy! I'm gonna bring some to our knitting circle's Christmas party Friday night:)

kathy b said...

MMMMMM< I so wish I could Bake Chirstmas cookies and treats..Im' hopeless. Really> I can make a great roast and grill etc but I cannot bake....
yours look amazing

Stephanie V said...

My DIL is of Dutch heritage and I look forward to her Speculaas every Christmas. I'm sure the kids do, too!

darlin said...

This all looks soooo good! I'd best get off my computer before I find more food posts and end up in my kitchen baking at 1am! lol Have a wonderful week!