January 18, 2013


This week's cookie, Speculoos, was a joy for everyone to make, and to eat. According to TK, it's a spice cookie popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. Most people probably haven't heard of it, unless they've tried Biscoff spread. This spread has a bit of a cult following, and it's made from speculoos cookies. It's kind of the Belgian equivalent of Nutella.
All our bakers enjoyed this cookie, and after many weeks of rolling out cookie dough, we're all getting much better at it. We're also getting more and more creative with our photos, as you will see.

Six 4.5" cookies, six 3.5" and 35 of 2.25"
Measurement - Metric
Oven - Convection
Bake time - 11 minutes
Tools - marble rolling pin, pastry slab and small strainer to sift sugar for decorating

I enjoy thin cookies but have zero success at baking them.  After reading the recipe I found this cookie easy to make. With all ingredients in my pantry except the clover honey I used flower honey and added 20 cloves in both the cake and whole wheat flour to infuse the missing ingredient. I also took one clove, pulverized it and added it to the flour. Rolling out the dough evenly is getting to be an easier task. I used a snowflake cookie cutter and was concerned the edges would bake evenly. To my surprise the cookies were baked to perfection. I sprinkled powdered sugar on a few cookies and my family stated they were already sweet so I left them bare and were enjoyed by all. I also like the kick the ground clove gave to the cookies. I will make these again many more times.

Standard bake 325, 14 minutes. 6 three inch snowflake cookies, and 30 four inch tulips.

I was so looking forward to these cookies! My mom is Dutch, and I grew up with these cookies. They were a special treat, especially at Christmastime. When I told my mom what I was making, she didn’t understand what I was saying, so I had to repeat myself a few times: Speculoos! Speculoos! She said, oh, you mean Speculaas! Apparently in Dutch, it’s Speculaas. Same cookie, different vowel.
This recipe was similar to the shortbread and TKO cookies, so by now I had to technique down. I used wildflower honey instead of clover honey, and I think the honey made the cookies easier to roll out.
I also added a pinch on ground ginger, because the cookies that I remembered always tasted like ginger. I used Strauss butter again. I’m hooked on the good stuff now! I don’t think I can make cookies with regular butter ever again.
These were easier to roll out than the shortbread, and the cookies came out so cute! I chilled them on the cookie sheets for about 10 minutes before baking, to make sure the dough didn’t spread too much while baking.
I used a pretty snowflake cutter, just like TK, but then I wanted to add a little Dutch flair. I dug around in my cookie cutter collection and found a tulip! They turned out so cute!
When I gave one to my husband to try, he commented that they’d be great with some icing, so I whipped some up and busted out the sanding sugars. Even cuter!
I was so inspired that I had to create a little tulip garden. The whole time I was putting it together, I was humming “Tiptoe Thru the Tulips” by Tiny Tim.
These cookies were delicious, easy to make, and fun! I will definitely make them again and again, especially at Christmas, to continue my family’s heritage and traditions.

Gave the Speculoos a try tonight. Once again, made dough earlier. Made one ingredient change. Instead of using honey, I used the same amount in the molasses that I had left over from the earlier cookie recipes. Why? Don't know, other than it was a last second decision, one that I am very happy I made. I like the shortbread dough as it's so easy to make with my KitchenAid stand mixer. Reminds me a lot of making pie dough. Chilled the dough, and once again, rolled right onto the granite counter with a little dust of flour. I would really like some rolling tips, or maybe more practice? I still seem to roll out a bit uneven. Keeping in mind I am aiming for perfection. It is Mr. Keller after all.

The nice thing about making Xmas cookies after Xmas is all the cutters are rock bottom prices. I got the snowflake cutter for a dollar. I also bought a heart shaped cutter because I liked it. So, I made 2 shapes. Funny enough, Batter Bakery actually boxes the 'edges & scraps' and sells them. It's my favorite thing to nibble on. So, I do not have to re-roll dough cause I actually prefer the edges. Anyway, cookies cut out with no issues. Having a cutter that size was a little challenging on some of the edges. I would take my time, and be a bit more careful next time. I broke an edge and simply pressed it back on.

Baked a little longer than usual (this seems to be the norm, over 5 minutes more than recipe states).

I absolutely love the flavor of this cookie! The molasses turned it into more of a winter spice type cookie. I am glad that I switched.

Going forward, I will continue to make shortbread. I really like the ease of the dough, and like the simplicity of flavor.

I used metric measurements, a standard oven, and I continue to use Plugra butter. This recipe made 8 beautiful ballerinas.

The Speculoos cookies are another win and a great addition to my holiday cookie repertoire. They are not only delicious but it is the perfect dough for cut outs. As lovely as they would be decorated with icing, I found them to be just as magical lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar.

I am finding the creaming process continues to get easier, as does the measuring on a scale, as this baking journey continues.  My cupboards are now stocked as if a baker lives here. When I started the project I only had all-purpose flour and granulated sugar in my larder and I now have 4 types of sugar, including two brown and 3 types of flour!   I don’t believe that my oven has been used this much in the two years that I have lived in this apartment.   My roommate now looks forward eagerly to baking night.  I have yet to break the news to him yet that our next cookie is a dog treat!

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