vrijdag 4 december 2009

Foody friday 's Saint Nicolas Speculoos

Sunday the children of Belgium and Holland celebrate Saint Nicolas. He is the patron saint of the Children. Children put their shoe out with a carrot for the horse of Saint Nicolas and hope that in the morning the carrot will be gone and there will be presents instead.
One of the presents we got every year was a plate full of candy.
The staples where, speculoos, oranges of clementines, golden chocolate coins, nicnac's ( a very small cokie in the shape of letters) and guimove( a sort of sweet) and of corse some chocolade figurines.
My hometown is famous for its very special speculoos.
What is it exactly. Well it is a big cookie, a bit soft and the main ingrediances are, real butter, cinnamon and almonds.On the picture above you see two different kind. The small cookies are the commercially made one. These are very sweet and hard and thin and you can get them in every shape.
The big ones are the ones where my hometown of Hasselt is famous for.
These ones contain almons (the commercial ones don't have that) and are thick and a bit soft.
The Dutch also have a sort of filled speculoos.

Here is the recipie that I got from my great grandmother, Anneke.
Cream 2,5 cups or 500 grams of sweet real butter.
Please do not subsitute the butter for crisco of margerine or something.I is a very big part of the flavour.

Then add 3 1/4 cups or 650 grams of dark brown sugar

Work in 4 XL or 5 L eggs

Then add 2 heaped theaspoons of cinnamon

Then it is time to add 6 cups or 1 kilo of plain four and the right amount of baking powder

Another vital part of speculoos of Hasselt and unique to that is 1 cup or 100 grams of almond powder and 1cup or 100 grams of slivered almond. This time my shop had no slivered almonds so I used all almond powder.

You need to work the dow by hand by now since it is a very heavy dow.
Don't work it to long. Just enough to combine everything. Then put it in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. Cover it with clingfilm.

Next day you preheat your oven at 325°F or 175 °C.
Take a piece of the dow and make a roll out of it about 2,5 inch or 6 to 7cm diameter
Slice fingerthick slices and put on a baking tray.

The baking tray should be coverded with some baking paper. Just flatten the slices ever so slightly. Leave room between the slices since they will spread.
Bake for 15 minutes.
The cookies should have only a lightly brown rim on the outside. The will be hard after cooling down but when you store them in a tin they should get softer.
You could keep them for weeks but I bet they won't have the time to get bad!
I know they are heavy on the calories but I only bake them for Saint Nicolas and for Christmas.
These cookies are for Belgium and Holland what Shortbread is for Scotland and Chocolade chip cookies are for the USA. Please try them, I know you will love them.

These days speculoos is so popular in Belgium that in the last two years they intruduced a speculoos paste that you can put on bread. It was the winning thing in a tv contest to invent something new and it is a huge succes.
Since this years there is also chocolate with pieces of crisp speculoos in it and there is even Speculoos ice cream.
I also use the paste to mix with buttercream and spread that on apple cupcakes. Yummy!

10 opmerkingen:

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut zei

Oh, these look wonderful and I love the name. I am definitely going to try these, but about how much is the right amount of baking powder?

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and telling us about traditions in Belgium. I'm going to put out my shoe and see what happens.

ButterYum zei

Your special cookies sound so delicious. I just might have to give these a try!

Thanks for sharing!!


Mary zei

I really enjoyed your post today. I hope you can visit my site tomorrow.

Maria Berg zei

We make something similar here in Sweden "Gingerbread" and i make it look like many different things like dog, stare and so on.

I am sorry that I do not have recipe very often on my page two reasons - I do not use them a lot and then we have a different way of measurements.
Not pound and onz...

Maria Berg

Tiffanee zei

These looks so delicious and so professional. Thanks for sharing the fun tradition.

Ilse zei

ziet er héél erg lekker uit!!

A Gracious Home zei

A wonderful story and cookies too. They look very good. Thank you for sharing. Doylene

CrazyCris zei


Rain pointed me your way, thank you so much for this recipe! I lived in Liege for 8 years (I'm here again now for 3 months) and one of the things I missed when I moved back to Spain were speculoos! Now I can try and make some for myself! :o)

Maks zei

I have to give your cookies a try. They look really yummie!

Thanks for sharing yoor cookiesrecipe with us.

Mayda Villar (Cuatro en la Carretera) zei

Thank you so much for this recipe!! It's just what I needed for the 6th December. I will cook them with my children and try to use some Saint Nicholas shaped molds, so that the get to know other countries' folkore. Grretings from Spain!