I've had a few requests to share the recipe I used for the Speculaas biscuits I made on Sunday.
It was Margaret Fulton's from her Christmas book (which I picked up for $10 at Coles last year after Christmas, love a bargain).
3 cups plain flour, plus extra for kneading.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or white pepper (I used pepper)
1 and 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons rum or brandy
1 egg white, beaten
125g slivered blanched almonds, for decoration
Golden syrup (my addition) see recipe below.
Preheat oven to 190degC. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, aniseed, salt and ginger or pepper together in a bowl. Beat the butter until creamy in a large bowl, then add the brown sugar gradually (well actually I just creamed the butter and sugar together cause I didn't read this step very carefully!). Beat until light and fluffy then stir in the rum or brandy.
Gradually add the flour and spices to the creamed mixture, stirring until combined, then form the dough into a ball. Unfortunately my dough was too dry so I added golden syrup until it came together.
Knead the dough on a board sprinkled with flour. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 5mm thick. With a sharp knife or cutter, cut the dough into 6 x 3cm rectangles. Lay on greased baking trays, brush with the egg white and decorate with slivered almonds. Bake for 12 minutes or until they are brown and firm. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 40.
I did find an old issue of Gourmet Traveller that also had a recipe, they played around with the spice mix (adding ground green cardamom pods, and star anise in place of the aniseed). They also recommend popping the mix in the fridge overnight to allow the spices to mellow and really permeate all the way through the dough. You could even leave it up to 3 days! Traditionally the Speculaas are imprinted with images of St Nicholas or Sinterklaas with a special wooden mould- but apparently they are hard to come by in Australia.
They were quite easy, and nice and crisp and spicy. Perfect with a cold glass of milk.