Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Speculaas (Dutch Windmill Cookies)


I just love holiday cookies. Who doesn't? After all, everyone is a cookie monster at heart. (Hint: they make great presents for neighbors, co-workers, party hosts, etc.) This year, I have recreated two of my favorite Christmas cookies my mother would have in the house time of year: spritz cookies with jam; and speculaas, aka Dutch windmill cookies. Spectulaas are a Dutch shortbread that are traditionally served for St. Nicholas day and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes white pepper. Since this cookie will not rise, it's perfect to use a pretty mold for these. If you don't have one, like me, a cookie cutter will do the trick. I forgot how much I enjoyed speculaas. This recipe lived up to my expectations that my memory conjured up. In a way, they reminded my of those biscoff that they serve on airplanes. I gave a small bag to my Dutch friend and neighbor. She said I that I did a nice job with them, and the flavor was better than she remembered having as a child in Holland. The texture differs a bit since I used oatmeal and buckwheat flours which add more complexity to the flavor and texture. Since this recipe is in weight, it's easy to swap out flours to put your own personalization on them, say like almond flour. These cookies can be decorated in so many pretty ways, but in a rustic fashion, which has more character. They can be used for edible ornaments, too if you cut a small hole in the dough before baking.

Ingredients:
165 grams sweet (glutinous) rice flour
165 grams brown rice flour
100 grams oat flour
100 grams buckwheat flour
270 grams butter, room temp
260 grams confectioners sugar
80 grams sugar
3.2 grams (2 tablespoons) grated lemon zest
5 grams (1 tablespoon) cinnamon
1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) cloves
1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
50 grams (1 large) egg, room temp
garnish: egg wash & sliced almonds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium/large bowl combine all the flours and mix well. In a large work bowl of a mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, powdered sugar, sugar well but not fluffy. Add in the zest and all of the seasonings and mix until just incorporated. Add in the egg and mix until just mixed in. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture until all added in well. The dough would be very thick and uniform.

The classic way to make these cookie is by molding the cookie dough. The dough is pressed into special wooden cookie mold, then removed and laced onto parchment paper. Alternatively, it can be stamped to emboss a design in the dough. Otherwise, make up the cookies wither as icebox cookies or as rolled cookies cut with cookie cutters. They should be rolled/cut to 1/4 inch thickness. Garnish with a light brush of egg wash and almonds. If making into ornaments, cut out a small hole before baking. This recipe makes a lot of cookies! About 3-4 dozen, depending on size. Merry Christmas!

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

We invite you to to our Virtual Cookie Swap with Food Network! Check out The FN Dish.  Follow the participating bloggers: and . Here are some incredible cookies that others are bringing to the on-line holiday communal table:

Thursday Night Dinner: Peppermint Bark Cookies

5 comments:

Elise Johnson said...

Absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful gift these would make!

Lori Lynn said...

My mother's favorite cookie. I remember from the '60's. Yours look fabulous. She would be in heaven.
LL

lindav said...

Thank you! These cookies are a part of my Dutch heritage

Leah @ LeahMarieV said...

I nominated you for a Versatile blogger award!

http://leahmariev.com/2011/12/20/versatile-blogger-award/

I hope you will accept the nomination!
Love,
Leah

gretchen said...

these are so pretty, erin!