Fragrant and light Dutch cookies, usually made during the cold season and particularly around Saint Nicolas day and Chirstmas.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Knead to make a dough that does not stick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. The spices will work their magic.
Heat oven to 350º F. Grease a baking sheet.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it to an even thickness, about 4 mm thick.
Cut rectangles or use cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. Place the cookies on the greased baking sheet.
Bake the cookies until they are a darker shede of brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfers from teh baking sheet to a serving plate. Let the speculaas cool before serving.
Before baking, you can brush speculaas with egg white, and sprinkle on top a little sugar, flaked almonds or both.
There are special speculaas cookie stamps to decorate the cookies.
Speculaaskruiden (spice mix)
3 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground mace, 1/2 tsp. ground clove, 2 pinch ground white pepper, 2 pinch ground cardamom, 2 pinch ground coriander, 2 pinch ground anise seeds, 2 pinch grated nutmeg.
Ground cinnamon, ginger, mace and clove are the essential spices, the rest can be changed or omitted. Porportions can be altered to taste.
Belgian speculoos are similar biscuits, although only ground cinnamon, or cassia, is added, not the complex spice mix used for speculaas.
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