Saturday, December 19, 2015

Speculaas Spiced Springerle

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Speculaas Spiced Springerle
Speculaas are traditional cookies from the Netherlands, Belgium and Holland. I did a lot of reading before baking Speculaas. Speculaas (Dutch), Speculoos (French) or Spekulatius (German) are more commonly known as Dutch Windmill Cookies or Biscoff Cookies. Speculaas are traditionally baked around the time of the feast of Sinterklaas (December 5) in Holland, and in the western and southern parts of Germany around Christmas. Speculaas derives its name from the wooden molds used to make the cookies called speculaasplank or speculaas. Traditional recipes involve many steps, but I found a great recipe that maintains the integrity of the traditional cookie, and bought a modern Springerle rolling pin (a rolling pin with designs carved into it). The word Springerle is from an old German dialect meaning "little knight" and traced as far back as the 14th century.

Close-up, Speculaas Spiced Springerle
I will purchase some of the intricately designed Speculaas molds little by little, until I have a good dozen of them or so. You can also use any shape Christmas cookie cutter you have. This cookie is the perfect combination of spices for the holidays. Some of the recipes I found vary with the ingredients in making Speculaas Spice. Some recipes use Cardamom and Black Pepper, but I did not use these two spices and instead increased Anise Seed from 1/8 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. I think my combination is close to the traditional spices used in this cookie recipe. When I went shopping for Anise Seed powder, the only available one was Anise in seed form. My hubby took the seeds and ground them for me and made Anise Seed powder. The smell of this spice is amazing!

The cookies have a wonderful flavor from all the spices and are crisp when you bite into them and tender inside. The cookies are the perfect accompaniment with coffee, tea, hot chocolate and eggnog. I really love the texture. The trick to making these cookies is keeping the dough cold before you make the impressions. If you use individual molds or a Springerle rolling pin as I did, be sure to flour well. If the dough gets to room temperature, it will stick.

Yield: 2 to 4 dozen cookies depending on size.

Springerle Rolling Pin and Dough

Ingredients
1 ½ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur)

½ cup Unblanched Almond Flour/Meal (I use Hodgson Mills)

¼ teaspoon Baking Soda

½ cup, 1 stick Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 8 cubes

¾ cup Granulated Sugar

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon Salt

1 Extra Large Egg

Speculaas Spice Mixture:
3 ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

½ teaspoon Ground Anise Seed

¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon Ground Clove

1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/8 teaspoon Ground White Pepper

Yummy Speculaas Spiced Springerle

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the Speculaas Spice Mixture; set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine with a spatula or whisk the all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

Using a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and spice mixture and mix just until incorporated.

Add egg and mix until incorporated.

Turn mixer to low speed, and slowly add the flour mixture and combine well.

Form the dough into a round shape, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut dough in half keeping the remaining half covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Speculaas Spiced Springerle
Place dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to desired thickness and length with a rolling pin. Remove top sheet of parchment paper.

Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and flour molds or Springerle rolling pin. Press hard into the dough to make impression, then remove and cut around the design with a sharp knife, pizza or pastry cutter.

If dough gets to room temperature and it is sticking to the mold or Springerle rolling pin, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 10 minutes and then repeat step above.

Place cookies on baking sheets and freeze for 10 minutes. This will ensure the cookies hold their shape and design while they bake.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until slightly brown around the edges. My cookies baked in 10 minutes.

When removing from oven, leave cookies on baking sheets for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely; about 1 hour.

Links for further information:
For the Speculaas Spiced Springerle cookie recipe I use, visit King Arthur Flour:
(Speculaas Spice Mixture changed, so see above for my variation)
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/speculaas-spiced-springerle-recipe

Here's another Speculaas recipe using the same Springerle mold I have: http://www.eatthelove.com/2012/12/speculaas/

For more information on Speculaas, visit Weekend Bakery:
https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/quest-for-the-best-speculaas/

For more history on Speculoos, visit Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculoos

To read more about Springerle, visit Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springerle

For history of Springerle, visit And All The Kings Men:
http://andallthekingsmen.bizhosting.com/history.html

To order molds, visit House On The Hill:
http://www.houseonthehill.net/

To order molds, visit Springerle Joy:
http://www.springerlejoy.com/

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

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