SPECULAAS SPICE BISCUITS
- 250 gram/280 ml butter or margarine, diced
- 150 gram/175 ml castor sugar
- 60 gram/75 ml brown sugar (Demerara)
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk (keep the white for brushing over biscuits before baking)
- 5 ml vanilla essence
- 2,5 ml almond essence
- 560 gram/1 litre cake flour
- 1 ml salt
- 7,5 ml baking powder
- 15 g/30 ml Speculaas spice mix (I used 45 ml but more intense flavour but will use 60 ml next time)
- 30 ml milk
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 50 g/125 ml flaked almonds, optional
- Spice mix: my own blend
- 8 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 8 teaspoons mixed spice
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
Mix and keep the spice mix in little jar. I made extra batch for future use.
Beat the soft butter or margarine and sugar together until creamy and beat in the egg, egg yolk and flavouring. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together until a dough is formed, adding just enough milk to allow the dough to hold together. Knead lightly only until even and smooth.
Grease two baking trays (about 380 x 280 mm) well with margarine and sprinkle half the of the flaked almonds, if used, evenly over both trays. Divide the dough in half for the 2 trays and place portions all over each tray. Press down and cover the whole bottom of tray with the dough. Recipe suggests rolling but my rolling pin is too long. I did use the cylindrical tube from my cookie gun (or icing gun would also work in same way) to eventually roll it evenly all over.
It’s a bit fiddly getting all the portions of dough together so it’s easier to break up lots of little pieces to spread over the tray as opposed to a few big pieces of dough. Makes the pressing together much quicker. It is a thin dough.
Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg white to glaze and sprinkle the remaining flaked almonds over the top. Carefully cut the dough with a smooth knife into the size preferred. I cut into three even sections lengthwise and into fingers of about 35mm wide crosswise. This gives you the 60 biscuits as per recipe. Prick the biscuits decoratively with a fork to facilitate drying out.
Bake at 180°C for 18 – 20 minutes or until the biscuits just start to change colour. Take care not to brown at all as it will spoil the taste.
Cool for 5 minutes in the tins then carefully remove to a cooling rack to become cold and crisp.
I found I had to cut along the lines again to separate the biscuits from one another and did so as soon as they came out of the oven and was still warm.
Yields 60 biscuits depending how you cut them.
Store in airtight containers for several weeks. Flavour improves with maturing. 😂 well we won’t know because it lasted exactly 3 days!
Photo: Elsabe Templeton