We have made this particular recipe from A Continual Feast for many, many years and always it is a delight to eat.
Now I know many people have fancy versions of Speculaas cookies with beautiful shapes and decorative tops and while I have always wanted to do this the fact remains that I don't have a cookie cutter to do them and I usually am cooking them in the wee hours of the morning of St Nicholas Day and thus don't have time to decorate before putting them in the bag.
I am quite resigned actually to this being our way of having Speculaas cookies each year even if it does not live up to my 'decorative magazine' tendencies and I think they children would not be any more appreciative anyway, as these are very popular in our home.
1 Cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups dark brown sugar (I have not found an appropriate substitute for brown sugar to cream with butter for this type of recipe and so special days we just go with the 'poison stuff' as we call it.)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
4 cups spelt flour (or plain if you desire)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Optional: icing sugar for decorative icing
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy.
Stir in the eggs one at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition.
Mix in the spices with the flour and baking powder, and stir gradually into the butter mixture.
Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, start the chilling process in the freezer: leave the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes.)
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch, or for larger figures to about 1/4 inch.
Cut out with cookie cutters, or trace around a heavy paper pattern with a sharp knife.
This dough can also be used with a cookie mold, or can be molded by hand.
This is the image we have used to cut around from each year
We like our cookies softer so don't cook them too long.
After this I wrap two up in glad wrap and put them in the stockings to be opened on St Nicholas Day by some very excited children.
Of course they taste fantastic with this Hot Chocolate too.
Blessings to you and your homes,