Are you familiar with the spicy, crispy, sugar cookie know as speculaas, or maybe you know them as speculoos?
Speculaas, as they are known in the Netherlands, are traditionally served on the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, December 5. Speculaas is from the Latin, speculum which means mirror. Traditionally the cookies are made with an image in a mold, such as the windmill shape design.
You may know them as the flavor of those wildly popular cookies they offer on Delta flights.
Or perhaps you are familiar with the Dutch windmill cookies.
Trader Joe sells a product known as Speculoos Cookie Butter. The last time I was in the store I asked for a taste. OMG!!! This stuff is to die for. I didn't by it because it would be like having "crack" in the house. The sweet cookie butter would be amazing as the filling in sandwich cookies, on ice cream, as a dip for pretzels or by the spoonful straight from the jar.
Cinnamon, cloves and ginger are classic flavorings in these spicy cookies but some recipes also include mace, nutmeg, white pepper, or cardamom. Recipes may or may not include almonds.
Not having molds, I rolled my cookie dough and used a small, scallop shaped cookie cutter to form my cookies.
Baked on parchment paper, these cookie dough rounds do not spread.
The cookies are baked at 350 degrees F for about 11 minutes and are crispy when cooled. I used the Dorie Greenspan recipe which you can view here. This recipe includes more spices. Here is a Martha Stewart recipe.
There is no need to wait for the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas to enjoy these cookies.