Spekulaas Biscuits

Speculaas Biscuits

Wotchers!

A little over a year ago, I started this blog. July 1st to be exact.

In the last year, there’s been a lot of stories and baking adventures, experiments and giveaways. And over 270,000 peeks!

So in this anniversary post we have both a recipe and a giveaway to say thanks for all the visits.

The recipe I’ve chosen for this week is for some traditional Dutch biscuits flavoured with speculaas – a spice mix popular in December, but delicious enough to enjoy all the year. If you can’t get your hands on the ready-mixed spices, I’ve included a DIY recipe. I was lucky enough to find some old wooden biscuit forms in a thrift shop in Zwolle, but you can just roll and cut the dough to whatever shape you like.

Giveaway Items

The last time we were in The Netherlands, I picked up these little bits and bobs (metal cake tester, wooden Speculaas moulds, teaspoon cookie cutter, hang-on-a-cup heart cookie cutter and biscuit slice – invaluable for lifting warm biscuits from the baking sheet, because it’s WAFER thin!) at my favourite shop in Zwolle, Dille & Kamille. I’ve been saving them since December for this giveaway and I’ve also got (but not pictured) some genuine speculaas.

So that there’s as many winners as possible, each winner will get just one of the items on offer.Β  I’m not going to make any demands on you to jump through hoops to be in the running, no need to follow on Twitter or Like on Facebook (although it’d be great if you did!), just leave a comment detailing your order of preference for the above items, not forgetting the spice mix, by 9.00am on Wednesday 11th July, 2012.

Winners will be selected at random, and awarded a prize according to preference. If the first preference is not available, then I’ll look to the second, and so on.

This is just my way of saying thank you to everyone who took the time to pop by over the past year.

Speculaas Mix

You can choose how much or how little you wish to make, and use grams, teaspoons or tablespoons – or cups if you’re really keen! Freshly ground spices are more aromatic than store-bought, but go with what you’ve got.

4 parts cinnamon
1 part coriander
1 part nutmeg
1 part cloves
1 part allspice
1/2 part cardamom

Speculaas Biscuits (Speculaasjes)

200g self-raising flour
125g dark muscovado sugar
2 tbs speculaas spice mix
1 pinch salt
150g cold unsalted butter
1tbs milk

  • Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade and blitz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the milk and blitz again, until mixture comes together in a ball. Add a few drops more milk if this doesn’t happen.
  • Wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
  • Heat oven to 175Β°C, 150Β°C Fan.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough to about 5mm and cut into whatever shapes you please. If you’re using moulds, dust them each time with a mixture of 4 parts cornflour to 1 part cinnamon to prevent the dough from sticking to the mould. NB The dough gets warm quite quickly, so if it’s getting too soft to work with, pop it back in the fridge to chill.
  • Chill the cut biscuits for 15 minutes before baking, to help them keep their shape.
  • Bake in the middle/bottom of the oven for 20-30 minutes until firm. NB They will still be soft whilst warm, so be careful when removing them from the baking sheet.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

51 Comments on “Spekulaas Biscuits”

  1. Claire says:

    I’ve not heard of these before but would love to try and make some for my farmers market. A perfect christmas gift. They could be iced? Thank you for sharing. I think the moulds are amazing! It is very kind of you to give them away. I would really love the little lady mould. Claire xx

  2. Lina says:

    Oooooooh! I’ve been wanting a proper wooden biscuit mould of that kind for ages and not seen any except really expensive ones in the States.

    So my order of preferences would be: wooden speculaas moulds, the biscuit slice (also looks rather brilliant), speculaas spice mix (how lovely to have the authentic mix), teaspoon cookie cutter, heart cookie cutter and cake tester.

    Congrats on the blog anniversary – and massive thanks for all the posts over the year, which have been very much enjoyed.

  3. Annie says:

    I LOVE spekulaas in all its various spellings but have never made them because I couldn’t find the spice mix – thank you so much for explaining how to make it! In order of preference, I think my favourite item in your giveaway is the biscuit slice, it would be so helpful for gooey cookies and the like, then the spice mix, spekulaas moulds, teaspoon cookie cutter, heart cookie cutter and cake tester. Fingers crossed!

  4. Maxine says:

    Wotchers! Today is my birthday and the sun is shining for the first time in ages!

    Love the blog, especially the stories in the posts. If I was lucky enough to be drawn as a winner then my preference is below:

    1 – wooden Speculaas moulds
    2 – teaspoon cookie cutter
    3 – hang-on-a-cup heart cookie cutter
    4 – WAFER thin biscuit slice
    5 – metal cake tester
    6 – Spice Mix

    Hers to more years of blogging πŸ™‚

  5. Leigh Caple says:

    They sound tasty…

    I’d like the wooden moulds, the biscuit slice, the teaspoon cutter, the heart cutter, the spice mix and the cake tester in that order.

    Thanks for running the giveaway!

  6. Fiona says:

    Hang-on-a-cup heart cookie cutter
    Speculaas
    Metal cake tester
    wooden speculaas moulds
    Teaspoon cookie cutter
    biscuite slice

  7. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU………….I have been hunting for ages and ages for a really good recipe for speculaas (my favourite biscuits in the whole world LOL!!!) and all the ones I’ve found so far have been so-so. Based on your other recipes these are going to be great – can’t wait to try them out!
    Just have to enter this giveaway too please – if I was lucky enough to win…. I’d like the biscuit slice firstly, spice mix second and then not fussed what order for any of the others – they’re all equally useful.
    Thanks as always for your generosity

  8. Thanks for all your posts over the year – I love your approach!!
    And, if I might get my hands on any of the goodies they would be – in order –
    1 – hang-on-a-cup heart cookie cutter
    2 – WAFER thin biscuit slice
    3 – wooden Speculaas moulds
    4 – teaspoon cookie cutter
    5 – metal cake tester
    6 – Spice Mix

  9. lucystephenson says:

    I love reading your blog and seeing the love you put into baking. Congratulations on a year of blogging πŸ™‚ I really like the heart on a cup cutter but if I was lucky enough to win I would treasure any of those prizes x

  10. I don’t know which fills me with more baking envy – the biscuit-lifter or the cake prodder! Please keep on blogging for the next year and beyond, I love your posts!

  11. faeriebakes says:

    Hi Mary-Anne
    Love reading your blog πŸ™‚ congratulations on it’s 1st birthday! Hope you will continue blogging πŸ˜€
    Thanks for the no-frills giveaway (must admit as soon as I see ‘rafflecopter’ I think “eh!?”. My preferences would be the biscuit slice, and then the heart cutter.
    Maria x

  12. I am Dutch, and I always use the speculaas-kruiden (spice mix) in my carrot-cake recipe. Yummy!!!

  13. faeriebakes says:

    Hi Mary-Anne
    Love your blog πŸ™‚ Congratulations on it’s 1st birthday! Hope you will continue blogging πŸ˜€
    Thanks for hosting a no-frills giveaway. I must admit I always shy away when I see the word ‘rafflecopter’!
    My preferences would be the biscuit slice (which sounds totally awesome) and then the heart cutter.
    Maria x

  14. maxine clark says:

    happy b(logging)irthday!!! Have really enjoyed the fun and wit of your blogs – not to mention the great ideas! The tosca cake is still going down well.
    would love to enter the giveaway – biscuit slice would be my choice.

  15. Jenni says:

    Happy Birthday Blog! Well done for getting this far and amassing so many visits along the way. These biscuits sound AMAZING, I love cinnamon and all spice as flavours, nom!!

    If I were to win I would choose:
    -Biscuit slice
    -Hang on a cup heart cookie cutter (what a fab idea!)
    -Spekulaas spice mix
    -Teaspoon cookie cutter
    -Metal cake tester
    -Wooden Spekulaas moulds

    Love the blog, hope it continues for many a year more =)

  16. yasmin says:

    Hiya Mary-Ann

    Love your recipes, in fact they are the most popular whenever I make anything for the office ‘cake bakes’. I am definitely going to try this Speculaas biscuits recipe next week. Congratulations on your 1st birthday – thanks for the spiffin give-aways, in order of preferance:

    1) Hang-on-a-cup heart cookie cutter
    2) Speculaas moulds
    3) Biscuit Slice
    4) Teaspoon Cookie Cutter
    5) Spice mix

    Ta everso for giving my reply a read

  17. Rachel Silber says:

    Thank you for this recipe, I have wondered how these biscuits got their unique flavour. Well done on your blog anniversary! If I win I would love the spice mix or the heart cutter, please!

  18. Emily Ward says:

    And what a blog! It’s a real achievement to have created such quality content continuously for a year, and this is a blog I recommend to everyone I know! My favourite posts have been melting moments, the halloween biscuits, and the Russian Honey Cake – so called with capitals because it is epic in its majesty.

    I love your preambles, and the recipes are such quality! I would honestly bake anything you make.

    Congrats, and love from Your fans in Richmond.

    Emily

  19. Ms Valentine says:

    Dear Mary-Ann, congrats on your 1st anniversary. my order of preference are as follows:
    – Hang on a cup heart cookie cutter
    – Spekulaas spice mix
    – Wooden Spekulaas moulds
    – Teaspoon cookie cutter
    – Metal cake tester
    – Biscuit slice
    Please keep these amazing recipes coming…Thanks for the goodies!

  20. Nicki S says:

    Looks a great recipe. I am such a fan of all the spicy flavours in cakes and biscuits that Europe does so well but UK seems to fall short.

    My order is:

    1) Biscuit slice
    2) Wooden molds
    3) Heart cookie cutter
    4) Metal cake tester
    5) Teaspoon cookie cutter
    6) Spice mix

    Thanks!

  21. Debbie says:

    Hi
    Love your blog
    If I won my order of preference is:
    Speculaas mould/s
    Biscuit slice
    Speculaas spice mix
    Heart cookie cutter
    Spoon cookie cutter
    Cake tester

    Here’s to another year!

  22. Alison Faithfull says:

    Dear Mary-Anne
    Just a little note to say that I think you’re wonderful and that I thoroughly enjoyed watching your progress on the GBBO and now reading your delightful, uplifting blog. I’m looking forward to your first book. The heart cookie cutter looks very useful – thank you and bless you. Alison

  23. NickkiT says:

    Happy 1st blog anniversary, here’s to many more πŸ™‚ If I won my order of preference would be
    1. Spekulaas moulds
    2. Cake tester
    3. Biscuit Slice
    4. Spice Mix
    5 spoon cookie cutter
    6. Heart cookie cutter

  24. S Ahmed says:

    Happy 1st Anniversary! Thanks for the recipe, definitely trying it out πŸ™‚

    If I win, my preference would be:
    1. Speculaas mould
    2. Heart cookie cutter
    3. Biscuit slice
    4. Spoon cookie cutter
    5. Spice mix
    6. Cake tester

  25. Adam says:

    M-A you are so exotic having a fave little Dutch store, and dropping it so casually into conversation. Happy Anniversary Time to Cook!! And what a year you’ve had.

    I won’t be so crass as to list a preference, but the spoon cookie cutter is pretty darn cute!

  26. Happy anniversary! Love the sound of these biscuits! And would love to have the wooden moulds, followed by the bicuit slice, cake tester then cutters. Thanks!

  27. Shiven says:

    I’ve loved following your posts since September last year, and would be ecstatic to win one of these. If I were to put them in order, I suppose it would be

    1)- The Heart on a Cup Cutter
    2)- The Biscuit Slice
    3)- The Teaspoon Cutter
    4)- The Spice Mix
    5)- The Cake Tester
    6)- The Man Mould
    7)- The Lady Mould

    Thank you so much for all the blog posts- I’ve attempted every one of them.

  28. Hazel says:

    What a great recipe – I make German Liebkuchen but am going to try this as I’d love to see what the different spice balance tastes like. My order of preference is spekulaas moulds, spice mix, biscuit slice, cake tester, spoon cookie cutter, heart cookie cutter

  29. Helen says:

    Happy Birthday. I have loved reading your blog over the past year. If i am lucky enough to win, then
    .wooden form
    .biscuit lifter
    .cake tester
    .spice mix
    .heart cutter
    .teaspoon cutter
    Thanks!

  30. Tracy Butler says:

    Our Dutch friends marched into our house for Christmas one year and hung our tree with these wonderful biscuits, and now I’ve got the recipe! Thank you.

    If were lucky enough to win…

    : The address of Zwolle, Dille and Kamille
    : Wooden Moulds
    : Biscuit Slice
    : Heart Cutter
    : Teaspoon Cutter
    : Cake Tester

    Keep up the great posts and Happy 1st Birthday.

    Thank you.

  31. Amy says:

    Hello! I’ve been having a peek at your blog ever since you were on GBBO last year. I thought you were great, and fell in love with the apple rose wonders instantly. I attempted to get on the show this year, but alas! I failed. I love spekulaas and would very much enjoy a wooden cutter or some spice mix (truly delicious).Good luck for the coming year!
    Amy

  32. Louise says:

    Love the recipes, my family loves them too.
    Would love to win (in pref. order) the biscuit slice, heart cutter, teaspoon cutter, lady block, male block, cake tester or spices.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  33. Jessica says:

    I hope to see you on a book shelf very soon…think you should be there already to be honest! I can’t wait to try the Japenese cheesecake recipe i just found, and the pulled pork. The pictures on the site are fab. I’d love the wafer thin biscuit slide, otherwise easy. Good luck with the book publishing.

  34. Annie says:

    My best friend at school was Dutch, and she used to bring me these biscuits every christmas! I LOVE them, and haven’t had any since school so I’m super excited to make some myself.

    Would love to win:
    1. wooden Speculaas moulds
    2. Spice mix
    3. biscuit slice
    4. teaspoon cookie cutter
    5. heart cookie cutter
    6. cake tester

    Thanks for all your WONDERFUL posts!

  35. Sue Turner says:

    Wow, a whole year – congratulations! Time does fly! I love these biscuits and will definitely have a go at making them, as I am not the only one in the house who loves these treats I bet they won’t last long.

    Should I be lucky enough to win my preference order would be: one of the wooden moulds, the biscuit slice, spice mix, cake tester, heart cutter and teaspoon cutter.

  36. laura hardy says:

    What a great recipe, its simile to the scandanavian pepperbrod which is a Christmas biscuit. They look lovely and I will be out getting ingredients tomorrow.

    The little biscuit lifter looko great and the spices are a lovely mix. The moulded can be used for all sorts of things.

    All really useful.

  37. MAB says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Entries now closed. M-A πŸ˜€

  38. Louise says:

    Thank you Mary-Anne. My prize arrived today and I am delighted, both to have won and to have won this (I don’t want to spoil anyone elses surprise so am not saying what!) Thank you very much, I will enjoy using. Take care and keep these wonderful recipes and posts coming. Thank you Louise x

  39. Alison Faithfull says:

    Dear Mary-Anne – thank you so much for my lovely prize – I’m delighted! Ali x

  40. Ms Valentine says:

    Dear Mary – Anne,

    I received my parcel yesterday & oh! the joy. You even took the time to include a handwritten note. You are indeed the best. I’m off to create Spekulaas wonder. You rock!
    Cheers.

  41. […] recently Time to Cook Online Blog gave a recipe for making your own Spekulaas biscuits, based on a Dutch recipe, where they are common. In the Netherlands, you can buy the spice mix, but […]

  42. Hi Mary Ann – I’ve followed you over here from MN – sadly too late to enter this competition – but I will definitely be making these biscuits – I love these sorts of spices!

    I am more of a knitter – I do bake, but not too often, because the temptation to eat what I make is too great (as is my waistline). The last thing I baked was a delicious soda bread – from a recipe given to me by a wonderful old lady from the knitting group I attend. This time, though, the temptation to eat it all was not an issue – after my husband, No1 son and I had a slice each, we put the rest in a box, out of reach (or so we thought) on the kitchen table – and the dog got it down, opened the box and ate all that was left!!

  43. Angel of the North says:

    I’m still fairly new to this site and have returned from Holland complete with a friend’s gift of a wooden speculaas mould. My mould is the larger bishop design uased for Christmas so am wondering about baking times. Never had real speculaas until I went there and now understand what all the fuss is about. Wish I’d known abiout this site at the time of the competition!

  44. Morkandmindy says:

    Spice biscuits!

    Hey, the spice mix is just like one I add to a basic cookie dough! For anyone slightly timid using anything more unusual than Mixed Spice, I urge you to bother trying it. All these spices add a complexity and depth missing in generic spice mixes. I also urge freshly ground spices as MAB suggests. Ground spices lose depth and often taste musty and stale. The only addition I would add is a pinch of black pepper, not enough to taste but certainly enough to add another layer of palette tickling interest.. πŸ˜€

    I’ve never made Speculaas biscuits, now I’ve no excuse. Why not? Actually, with that spice mix, I’ve made something disappointing called Lebkuchen bars (made only with egg, spices, honey/syrup and flour) baked in a tray (for ease I suspect), so I’m going to have try these hard biscuits out of sheer curiosity. Forgive my asking yet again, but would you know the secret to those dark chocolate covered gingerbread, such as those made by Bahlsen? Like these: http://www.germangrocery.com/XMB8124.html? I simply cannot seem to approximate that crumbly, soft treacly, cakey texture, not hard and biscuit-like at all. It’s been a nemesis. (Insert a very, very angry smiley). And a childhood love. (Sighs).


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