Speculaas cookies, originating from the Netherlands and Belgium, are the classic Christmas you knew you loved but never had a name from. They’ve made appearances on your grandmother’s tray of homemade cookies, the dessert bar at an office holiday potluck, or in a festive unlabeled treat tin gifted to you by a friend. Wonderfully spiced, slightly crunchy, and lightly flavored by roasted almonds, they are easier to make than you might have thought. I hope this recipe is exactly what you were looking for this holiday season.
½ cup blanched and slivered almonds
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
A pinch of ground black pepper
A pinch of sea salt
½ cup of butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
Set your butter on the countertop to soften.
Put your blanched and slivered almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When your oven is done preheating, pop them in and toast them for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown and fragrant. Set them aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine.
Using a blender or food processor, grind your almonds with 2 tablespoons of your flour mixture.
Add the almond blend to your dry ingredients and whisk together until incorporated.
In another large mixing bowl, cream together your butter and sugar using a hand mixer. Blend until it’s nice and fluffy and the sugar is well incorporated.
Add your egg to the butter mixture and blend until fully combined.
Pour your wet ingredients into your dry and mix until a dough forms.
Form your dough into a solid ball and wrap it well in plastic wrap or bees wrap. Make sure no air can get in.
Set your dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight if you can.
After your dough has rested, its’ time to roll it out and bake your cookies.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
On a large, well-floured surface, roll out your dough to about 1/8th inches thick. Flour your cookie cutter and cut out your shapes. When you run out of room for shapes, re-form the dough and repeat. Set your cut-out cookies on your baking sheets.
Once you’ve filled a sheet, set it in the oven and bake for 12-12 minutes. Bake until your cookies are fragrant and just barely golden brown on the edges. The spices and brown sugar make it harder to tell when these cookies are ready, so keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. This recipe makes a little over 3 dozen cookies, so you’ll repeat this a few times.
Set your cookies out to cool when they’re done. Once cooled, set them in an airtight container and they’ll keep for at least a week. Enjoy!