Spekulatius AKA Speculoos (German Spice Cookies) Recipe

Spekulatius, also known as Speculoos, are traditional German spice cookies that are especially popular during the Christmas season. These crisp, aromatic cookies are flavored with a distinctive blend of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom, which give them a warm, festive flavor. Often imprinted with beautiful images using special wooden molds or rollers, Spekulatius are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate.

Ingredients

To bake your own batch of Spekulatius, you will need:

  • All-Purpose Flour: 2 ½ cups
  • Baking Powder: ½ teaspoon
  • Salt: ¼ teaspoon
  • Ground Cinnamon: 2 teaspoons
  • Ground Cloves: ¼ teaspoon
  • Ground Nutmeg: ¼ teaspoon
  • Ground Cardamom: ¼ teaspoon
  • Unsalted Butter: 1 cup, softened
  • Brown Sugar: 1 cup
  • Egg: 1 large
  • Almond Extract: ½ teaspoon
  • Optional: Sliced almonds or chopped nuts for topping

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. Set aside.
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and almond extract, mixing until well combined.
    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a cohesive dough forms.
  2. Chill the Dough:
    • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. This step is crucial as it helps the flavors meld together and makes the dough easier to handle.
  3. Roll and Cut the Cookies:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters or a sharp knife to cut into desired shapes. If you have cookie molds, press the dough into the molds and then remove and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Add Toppings (Optional):
    • If using, press sliced almonds or chopped nuts gently into the top of the cookies before baking.
  5. Bake the Cookies:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Watch them closely as they can overbake quickly.
  6. Cool and Store:
    • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container. They will last for several weeks and typically taste better as they age.

Storage Tips

  • Room Temperature: Store Spekulatius in an airtight container at room temperature. They can last for several weeks and often become more flavorful as they sit.

Add-On Suggestions

  • Dipped in Chocolate: Melt dark or white chocolate and dip half of each cookie into the chocolate. Allow to set on parchment paper for an extra special touch.
  • Glaze: Mix powdered sugar with a little milk or lemon juice and drizzle over the cookies for a sweet glaze.

FAQs

Q: Can I make the dough in advance? A: Yes, Spekulatius dough can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept refrigerated. Allow it to come to room temperature for easier rolling.

Q: How can I ensure my cookies have crisp edges? A: Roll the dough evenly and do not let the cookies become too brown in the oven. The key is to bake them just until they are set and the edges start to turn golden.

Q: What if I don’t have the traditional spices? A: You can use a pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice as a substitute, or focus on using more cinnamon and nutmeg, which are more commonly available.

Health Concerns and Benefits

Spekulatius cookies offer the benefits of spices like cinnamon and cloves, which have anti-inflammatory properties. However, as with all sweet treats, they should be enjoyed in moderation due to their sugar and butter content.

Spekulatius are not just cookies; they’re a delightful tradition that brings warmth and joy to the holiday season. Enjoy baking these aromatic, spiced cookies that are sure to become a holiday favorite in your home!

  • Delicious Recipes

    Spekulatius AKA Speculoos (German Spice Cookies) Recipe

    Spekulatius, also known as Speculoos, are traditional German spice cookies that are especially popular during the Christmas season. These crisp, aromatic cookies are flavored with a distinctive blend of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom, which give them a warm, festive flavor. Often imprinted with beautiful images using special wooden molds or rollers, Spekulatius are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate.

    Ingredients

    To bake your own batch of Spekulatius, you will need:

    • All-Purpose Flour: 2 ½ cups
    • Baking Powder: ½ teaspoon
    • Salt: ¼ teaspoon
    • Ground Cinnamon: 2 teaspoons
    • Ground Cloves: ¼ teaspoon
    • Ground Nutmeg: ¼ teaspoon
    • Ground Cardamom: ¼ teaspoon
    • Unsalted Butter: 1 cup, softened
    • Brown Sugar: 1 cup
    • Egg: 1 large
    • Almond Extract: ½ teaspoon
    • Optional: Sliced almonds or chopped nuts for topping

    Step-by-Step Guide

    1. Prepare the Dough:
      • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. Set aside.
      • In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and almond extract, mixing until well combined.
      • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a cohesive dough forms.
    2. Chill the Dough:
      • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. This step is crucial as it helps the flavors meld together and makes the dough easier to handle.
    3. Roll and Cut the Cookies:
      • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
      • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters or a sharp knife to cut into desired shapes. If you have cookie molds, press the dough into the molds and then remove and place on the prepared baking sheets.
    4. Add Toppings (Optional):
      • If using, press sliced almonds or chopped nuts gently into the top of the cookies before baking.
    5. Bake the Cookies:
      • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Watch them closely as they can overbake quickly.
    6. Cool and Store:
      • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
      • Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container. They will last for several weeks and typically taste better as they age.

    Storage Tips

    • Room Temperature: Store Spekulatius in an airtight container at room temperature. They can last for several weeks and often become more flavorful as they sit.

    Add-On Suggestions

    • Dipped in Chocolate: Melt dark or white chocolate and dip half of each cookie into the chocolate. Allow to set on parchment paper for an extra special touch.
    • Glaze: Mix powdered sugar with a little milk or lemon juice and drizzle over the cookies for a sweet glaze.

    FAQs

    Q: Can I make the dough in advance? A: Yes, Spekulatius dough can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept refrigerated. Allow it to come to room temperature for easier rolling.

    Q: How can I ensure my cookies have crisp edges? A: Roll the dough evenly and do not let the cookies become too brown in the oven. The key is to bake them just until they are set and the edges start to turn golden.

    Q: What if I don’t have the traditional spices? A: You can use a pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice as a substitute, or focus on using more cinnamon and nutmeg, which are more commonly available.

    Health Concerns and Benefits

    Spekulatius cookies offer the benefits of spices like cinnamon and cloves, which have anti-inflammatory properties. However, as with all sweet treats, they should be enjoyed in moderation due to their sugar and butter content.

    Spekulatius are not just cookies; they’re a delightful tradition that brings warmth and joy to the holiday season. Enjoy baking these aromatic, spiced cookies that are sure to become a holiday favorite in your home!