Spice mix – you’ll have some left over but it’ll keep until next Christmas!
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground aniseed
3/4 tsp white pepper
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp baking powder
3 1/2 tsp spice mix (see above)
1/2 tsp salt
250g unsalted butter at room temperature
330g dark brown sugar
50ml tbsp dark rum or brandy
1 egg white, lightly beaten until frothy
100g flaked almonds
Speculaas Christmas cookies are traditionally eaten in the Netherlands around Sinterklaas during the first week of December. They’re delicious all year round, though, perfect for snacking on or serving as a spiced crisp spoon for ice cream. Happy feasting to all who celebrate on the 6th!
Christmas Speculaas Cookies
Sift flour, spice mix, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium high speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add alcohol and beat until incorporated. Finally, add the sifted ingredients and continue to beat on low speed. The dough will feel dry and difficult but will eventually come together. Tip onto a work surface and bring it together. Split dough into two flattish disks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 210°C/190°C and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is about 0.5cm thick. Using a 7cm round cutter (or whatever size or shape you like*), cut out the cookies and place them on the lined baking trays, spaced 2cm apart. Re-roll the scraps to cut out more cookies.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown and the almonds are toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes and then let cool completely on wire rack.