Speculaas Biscuits

Speculaas Biscuits

These speculaas biscuits are gently spiced with a mix of aromatic warm spices, filling your home with the most amazing baking smells. Simple and delicious, they make a great recipe for edible Christmas gifts. 

These buttery caramelised shortbread biscuits first appeared in the Netherlands in the 18th century, but there are many discussions about their origin. They are known across the world by slightly different names, Speculaas in Holland, Speculoos in Belgium, Spekulatius in Germany and Biscof or Dutch windmill cookies in the US. Speculaas are widely associated with St. Nicholas, who is celebrated on the 6th December, when these biscuits are given away to family and friends as a Christmas treat.

These biscuits also work great as an accompaniment to other desserts, such as my cherry chocolate pots de crème.

If you decide to give these a try, let me know! Leave a comment and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag me @thegourmetlarder and #thegourmetlarder on Instagram! I love seeing what you come up with. 🙂

RECIPE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ease: Easy.
  • Great for: A delicious treat to serve alongside another dessert or a nice hot chocolate, coffee or tea.
  • Taste: Sweet, caramelised buttery shortbread with aromatic spices.
  • Texture: Crisp.

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    WHAT LARDER INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED FOR THIS RECIPE?

    For this speculaas biscuit recipe all you need are these 12 ingredients:

    Butter – adds structure and that rich butter flavour. I use salted butter for most of my baking as it intensifies the flavours, but feel free to use unsalted if you prefer. Make sure it’s at room temperature before using.

    Soft brown sugar – adds a caramelised sweetness and structure.

    Medium egg – builds structure and richness to the recipe. Make sure it is at room temperature before use.

    Plain or all-purpose flour – to build the structure.

    Ground almonds adds flavour, moisture, texture and structure to the recipe.

    Baking powder – increases the volume and lightens the texture during baking.

    Spices – ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, clove and white pepper add warmth and a beautiful spice mix to these well-known biscuits.

    I highly recommend adding a good pinch of salt to your biscuit doughs. It would seem counter productive, but it’s not. Salt, helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bring out the best characteristics of any recipe. In a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouths ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells, thus triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also triggers our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.



    NUTRITION

    Serving: one biscuit

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.


    STORAGE AND FREEZING OPTIONS

    These biscuits are best stored in an airtight container or tin for up to 5-6 days, they will soften as time goes by.

    Freezing: The dough can be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen for up to 3 months.

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    EQUIPMENT SUGGESTIONS

    Recommendations include:

    When it comes to baking, I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂



    READY TO MAKE YOUR OWN SPECULAAS BISCUITS ?

    HAPPY BAKING!

    Speculaas Biscuits

    Speculaas Biscuits

    Preparation:10 minutes
    Baking:10 minutes
    Resting:30 minutes
    Total:50 minutes
    Servings: 48 biscuits
    These speculaas biscuits are gently spiced with a mix of aromatic warm spices, filling your home with the most amazing baking smells. Simple and delicious, they make a great recipe for edible Christmas gifts.

    INGREDIENTS LIST
     

    • 150 g butter (softened)
    • 150 g soft brown sugar
    • 1 medium/US large egg (room temperature)
    • 300 g plain or all-purpose flour
    • 50 g ground almonds
    • tsp baking powder

    Spices

    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp ground cardamom
    • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves
    • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
    • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

    Preparation
     

    • In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon until combined, then add the egg. We don't need to mix for very long as we want the sugar to remain grainy to get a really nice crispy biscuit.
    • Next, add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and spices.
    • Mix the ingredients until they start to come together and then use your hands to form a dough ball. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for half an hour.
    • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan / 400°F / Gas 6 and line two baking trays with baking parchment or silicone mats.
    • Shaping: Roll the dough out to around 3mm (¼ inch) thick, on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar or roll the dough out between two pieces of greaseproof paper.
    • Cut out the biscuits using your desired shape. The dough is quite soft, so I recommend using a large knife to lift the cookies off the work surface onto your baking tray. Reroll the leftover dough until it has all been used up.
      If you are rolling it out between greaseproof paper, cut out your shapes leaving a 1 cm gap between each biscuit. Then remove the excess dough and place the greaseproof directly on your baking tray.
    • Baking: Place the baking tray on the middle shelf and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
    • Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    Notes & Tips

    • Shaping – was traditionally done by pressing the dough into carved wooden moulds, but don’t worry, you can use any desired shape you like. I used a round biscuit cutter and a biscuit press but if you don’t have any fancy cutters you can simply use a small glass or cut them out in squares.
    • Avoid over baking the biscuits – by keeping an eye on them towards the end of the baking time. All ovens are different and speculaas are very thin and can easily get too dark or burn.
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    KEYWORDS baking, biscof, biscuits and cookies, christmas, speculaas, speculoos

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    RECIPE TIPS

    • Shaping – was traditionally done by pressing the dough into carved wooden moulds, but don’t worry, you can use any desired shape you like. I used a round biscuit cutter and a biscuit press but if you don’t have any fancy cutters you can simply use a small glass or cut them out in squares.
    • Avoid over baking the biscuits – by keeping an eye on them towards the end of the baking time. All ovens are different and speculaas are very thin and can easily get too dark or burn.

    Speculaas Biscuits

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT FOR YOU!

    If you tried these Speculaas Biscuits or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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