{Recipe} Starry Speculoos-inspired Christmas Cookies

During their European sojourn, my sister and brother-in-law purchased lots of yummy vegan treats. On their return, my family received a parcel full of goodies. This parcel introduced me to Speculoos spread. A delicious, biscuit-flavoured, peanut butter coloured spread.

Getting to know Speculoos spread was an enjoyable journey- I ate it on bread, mixed through vanilla soy ice cream, as a dip with dark chocolate squares, and straight from the jar with a spoon.

Eventually, the inevitable occurred -the jar was emptied of its last morsel.  Regrettably, I couldn’t just visit the local store to buy more. Thankfully, my sister informed me about an online store that sells Speculoos. Two jars of crunchy Speculoos spread are on the way to my home!

I knew it was a perfect day for baking when I awoke to rain on Sunday morning.  Time to experiment with Speculoos Cookies!

After 30 minutes of googling, I came to the conclusion that there is not a definitive, agreed upon speculoos spice blend.

Ultimately, I settled on a speculaas biscuit recipe (now these are  beautiful looking biscuits) to guide me in making a speculoos-inspired Christmas cookie.

Cookies1

You will need:

335g wholemeal spelt flour OR 300g plain flour (I used spelt)
125g dark brown sugar
150g vegan margarine
2 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp pure cocoa powder (ie. unsweetened) – optional. This is for colour, not flavour.

Spices:
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated OR ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 deg C/320 F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and pour boiling water over the top. Mix.

3. Add vegan margarine, beat with a wooden spoon or handheld mixer.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, spices and cocoa (if using).

5. Add flour and spice mixture to the large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until a dough forms.

6. Remove dough from mixing bowl and place in a container, flatten dough slightly. Cover container.

7. Refrigerate for at least an hour, ideally longer (overnight is good). This will intensify the flavour of the spices in the finished product. (I refrigerated for 6 hours).

8. Remove dough from fridge and set aside on bench for an hour.

9. Use rolling pin to roll dough to a 3-4mm thickness.

10 We used a star-shaped cutter, and yielded 18 cookies.

11. Bake for 12 mins.

11. Allow cookies to cool  before indulging!

Cool cookies!

Notes

You can press flaked almonds in to the back of each cookie before baking.

Apparently, the spices intensify with time. Store the cookies in an air tight container for 2 days before indulging. You think I’m joking?! Or you can do as I did and test taste one, and let the kids have one each. Then you can store the remainder for 2 days. I’ll let you know how they taste after 2 days -if there are any left!

[update– there was one cookie left after 2 days. The spices HAD intensified, but the cookie had softened. I prefer a firmer cookie, so I won’t be leaving my cookies for 2 days in the future. If I want a stronger spice flavour, I will leave the dough in the fridge overnight.]

Traditionally, speculoos biscuits are formed in wooden moulds shaped like windmills. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of those on hand. I did consider using play-doh stampers – then common sense prevailed 🙂

Cookies

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About Ally
Mamma. Vegan. I blog at Made of Stars.

15 Responses to {Recipe} Starry Speculoos-inspired Christmas Cookies

  1. Laura says:

    These look wonderful, Ally! 🙂

  2. redrustblue says:

    It’s just great to have vegan recipes that are both healthier than typical recipes AND delicious.

  3. uberdish says:

    Ally, these cookies look de-lish! Love those spices!

    • Ally says:

      Hi Angela! Yes, the spices are delicious. You can also add white pepper- but I didn’t have any in my pantry. What gluten-free flour do you use for cookies?

      • uberdish says:

        Hi Ally! Oh – I believe I have white pepper! 🙂 I tend not to stick to one type. My downstairs “bar fridge” is filled with containers of all different kinds. I like to make my own mix because it’s cheaper. This is the flour blend I suggest when first baking gluten-free – it works so well!: 2 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups white rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not flour), 2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour. I mix it all up in one container. Xanthan gum (1/2 tsp. per cup of flour) needs to be added to cookies, cakes, and muffins. I got the recipe from “Living Without” magazine a few years ago.

  4. Sophie33 says:

    Your vegan speculaas cookies rock! You know that speculaas spread is a belgian invention?? I am a proud Belgian!

  5. Ally says:

    3 jars?! Great! My 2 arrived today! I am going to start researching recipes.
    Sophie, do you have any ideas?

  6. mrsnikkiv says:

    Just wanted to stop by and tell you I nominated for the Liebster Award because I love your blog! http://aveganinprogress.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/liebster-award/

  7. Ally says:

    Thanks Uberdish! I am going to experiment with your flour blend. I have some of those ingredients in my pantry – the rest I can pick up from my local health food shop.
    I do have friends who are gluten-free and I would like to acquire some gluten-free baking skills for their benefit.
    Haha! Good to hear that you have white pepper. 1/8 tsp would be enough I imagine; certainly no more than 1/4 tsp.
    Have a great day : )

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