When I was a child my parents took me on numerous holidays to Holland. My Mum's best friend lived there and we took advantage of her extra beds to explore the Lowlands. We frolicked in the waves of Bergen Aan Zee, buried my Dad in the sand, ate chips with mayonnaise (very exotic) and when we were tired out, we traipsed up to the cafe on stilts for a hot chocolate. I always found it very exciting that not only did the hot chocolate arrive with lashings of whipped cream (and the proper stuff, not squirted from a can) but nestling on one side of the cup would be a little red plastic packet. Gingerly tearing it open, I would immediately be assailed with the overwhelming fragrance of speculaas. This ever-so-foreign mix of spices had a taste that as a child of the 70's growing up in England I just couldn't place. It was so much more than cinnamon, and not at all like the traditional gingerbread flavours that I was more used to, it was the taste of holidays.
So when The Speculaas Spice Company asked if I would like to try their spice mix, I jumped at the chance.
I wanted to create a biscuit that would take me back to those childhood days in Holland so I used this method to create my own molds. I made small rectangular mold with pretty detailing, just like the original biscuits of my childhood.
- 90g light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup
- 4 teaspoons speculaas spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
- 225g plain flour
- Place the sugar, syrup, spice, vanilla and salt in a pan and bring to the boil, take the pan off the heat.
- Add the butter and stir until melted.
- Dissolve the bicarb with a tablespoon of water and add it to the pan mix.
- Pour the mix into a bowl and add the flour.
- Stir together until you have formed a dough.
- Wrap the dough in kitchen film and chill for at least an hour.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2mm, cut out the same rectangular shape that you used for the mold and press into the mold.
- Place the biscuits on a baking tray covered with baking paper and chill for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 175C, bake the cookies for 10-12 mins.
You can find lots of great speculaas recipes here.