Speculaas spice biscuits used to be available around the end of year time, when the European specialty snacks and things were imported, but they’ve not been around for some time. Something piqued my interest in trying to make them myself and I tracked down some recipes. It started with making the Speculaas Spice Mix. I have a very well stocked herb and spice cupboard, so was able to make up the spice mix subbing nutmeg for the mace which I am out of as I don’t use it much any more. Aniseed isn’t a flavour I enjoy, so I don’t stock it at all and simply left it out.
Speculaas Spice Mix – 1 portion (used 2 tablespoons in trial recipe, use whole portion next time)
2 – 5 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon (adjust to taste) (erred on side of caution & used 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Ground Cloves (used 1/2 teaspoon, again, caution)
½ teaspoon Ground Aniseed
½ teaspoon Ground White Pepper
½ teaspoon Ground Coriander Seed
½ teaspoon Ground Ginger (optional)
½ teaspoon Ground Cardomon (optional)
½ teaspoon Ground Mace (optional)
½ teaspoon Ground Dried Mandarin Zest (optional)
- Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix them up, crushing any lumps with back of a spoon.
- Can store in an airtight container.
Make Dried Mandarin Zest by zesting mandarins and drying out in the oven at ~80C. Spread zest out on baking sheet, dry in oven for ~1 hour, turning ½ way through. Cool and grind into powder with mortar & pestle. 2 mandarins are recommended for this recipe.
The spices smell amazing!
Measured all the other ingredients and put them in the mixer bowl. Wasn’t sure how this was going to go, as most mix with their hands. I used the dough hook and needed to add the teeniest bit more milk because the table spoon measurements were not consistent through both recipes: 20ml v 15ml tablespoons, which I had not corrected.
It all came together in the end and rolled out easily. I divided the dough and placed it between 2 sheets of baking paper to roll it out as thinly as I thought it should be. I did miss the step of putting it in the fridge or freezer before rolling it out though. I don’t think that made any difference to the end result given the way I did it, but if you were using the proper formers, it well might make a difference.
I’ve given away all my collections of biscuit formers and cookie cutters so I simply cut the dough into rectangles with a knife for ease of everything.
The first tray, which I didn’t get a photo of, it’s the round one on the right, might have gotten overcooked, because when the biscuits came out at the appointed time, they were still really soft with no form at all, so I put them back in for another 10 mins. When they cooled, they were fully cooked though, so some sort of sorcery happened there! And yes, there are a few missing there, all in the name of testing!
I did have to run the knife through the biscuit edges again as they stuck together, but it wasn’t a problem and didn’t break the biscuits because they were still soft.
I’m counting it a success, the biscuits now they are cooled, are really delicious. The darker ones have a more significant crispness to them, and a slightly different flavour from the more golden coloured ones. Both are delicious and I’ll make these again.
I may even use the spice mix in other recipes as it’s so very flavourful. I’d use the full portion of the Speculaas Spice Mix the next time I make the biscuits though. I’d also have a go at adding some orange zest to the mix if I had all things coinciding at the time I decided to make them, I can see how it would really add an extra dimension to the flavours.
Speculaas Spice Biscuits Makes about 40 biscuits
150 grams butter
2 tablespoons (15ml spoon) Speculaas Spice Mix - Note: next time use the full portion of Spice Mix
150gm brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
250gm plain flour
45ml Milk (lukewarm)
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.
- Put the flour and baking powder, salt, dark brown sugar, speculaas spice mix, butter and milk in a bowl.
- Combine all ingredients and knead it into a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough between baking paper sheets, or on a floured surface and use a knife or cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.
- Place the speculaas biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 -20 minutes.