German Spekulatius (the Belgians call them Speculoos while the Dutch call them Speculaas) are my absolute favourite Christmas cookies. I can happily munch on them all year round. The ingredients strike the perfect balance between cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves for a taste, that to me, is pure Christmas.
You might already be familiar with my mad spekulatius obsession, like when I used them in my Belgian Speculoos Tiramisu Verrines, or my Pink Almond Spekulatius Burfi. It just goes to show how versatile they are and that they can be used in almost any dessert. I've had so many emails and requests for my family recipe, so here, finally, is my grandmother's own.
If you'd like more Christmas cookie ideas, see my Christmas Cookies page.
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German Spekulatius (for a printable version of this recipe click HERE)
Makes roughly 60 spekulatius, depending on the size of your cookie cutter
1 tsp baking powder
Seeds of 2 vanilla pods (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
2 drops almond oil
200g cold butter, cubed
100g ground almonds (you can also use hazelnuts)
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line two trays with baking paper. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
2. Tip the flour onto a working surface, make a well in the middle and add all the other ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything properly until a ball forms. If the dough is too sticky, place it back into the bowl and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. The dough needs to be cold before you start cutting out shapes.
3. Roll the dough thinly, roughly 5mm thick, and use your desired cutters. Place cookies on the paper-lined trays and bake in the top half of the oven for roughly 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
4. Allow to cool down before peeling off the paper. Store the biscuits in a biscuit tin. The longer you keep them in the tin, the better they taste as all the flavours infuse throughout the biscuits.