Dutch Spice Cookies
Dutch Spice Cookies
Thin crisp spice cookies are ubiquitous at Christmastime in most northern European countries. Â One particularly popular variety is called speculaas in the Netherlands, speculoos in Belgium, and Spekulatius in Germany.Â Believed to be named for the Latin word speculum, meaning Â “mirror”, these cookies reflect the image of the specially designed wooden molds that the dough is often pressed into. Â Cookies in the shape of a windmill are probably one of the more familiar designs, but you don’t need fancy molds to make these treats. Â Any shape will do, although I like to use a fluted, diamond-shaped cutter that measuresÂ approximatelyÂ 2 X 3 inches.
EGG WASH : 1 Â egg white whisked with 2 Â teaspoons water until frothy
COOKIE CUTTER NEEDED: diamond, square or round measuring about 2 Â 1/2 Â inches in diameter
WHISK together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and the allspice in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Â Beat in the egg, then the lemon zest. Â With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Â Gather the dough into a ball, then divide it in half. Â Shape each half into a disk and wrapÂ separatelyÂ Â in plastic. Â Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
PREHEAT oven to 350Â°F. Â Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
WORKING with one disk at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 Â inch thickness. Â Using Â the cutter, stamp out diamonds ( or other shapes ), arranging them about 1 Â 1/2 Â inches apart on the prepared sheet. Â Reroll the scraps. Â Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash over the tops of the cookies. Â Press a few almonds onto the center of each cookie.
BAKE for 13 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned around the edges and the almonds are golden. Â The cookies will crips up as they cool. Â Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
STORE in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice ( or cloves)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup sliced almonds
13 – 14 minutes