Monday, June 6, 2011


Dear Readers,

Lately,  Sydney's weather has become more chaotic than ever, strong wind, heavy rains, and an extremely cold weather have become an everyday thing, it doesn't feel like autumn anymore. Having said that I don't feel too apologetic about it,  I think colder weather is a perfect time to snuggle down in bed, eat something warm and comforting, and be lazy.
When I was thinking about what to cook, speculaas just popped in my mind right away. My dad loves cookies, he used to buy many varieties of them and had them with tea or just simply as a snack. I always had some of those cookies, so I know which cookies I love the most. This one is one of them. The fact that this cookies is heavily spiced, it is a perfect partner for a plain and hot cuppa. When you bake this, it feels like you just light up a scented candle and the aroma fills the house with the most welcoming smell, imagine it.
Although speculaas is the quintessential christmas cookie, and christmas is still far away, I have to say I have so many excuses to bake this again and again.. They are too good to resist! :)

Here is the recipe
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller
250 g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
110 g butter, softened
125 g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp milk

Speculaas Spice
4 green cardamon
4 cloves
2 star anise
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg


1. For speculaas spice, finely grind cardamom, cloves, star anise, peppercorns and mace in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. 
2. Transfer to a large bowl, add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, stir, add to flour and baking powder, and set aside.
3.  Beat butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until creamy (3-4 minutes).
4.  Add milk, beat to combine, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined
5. Form mixture into a dough with your hands on a work surface (add extra milk if mixture is too dry), shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to rest (8 hours-overnight).
6. Preheat oven to 170C. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, then refrigerate until firm (30 minutes).
7. Cut into desired shapes (see note) and place on trays lined with baking paper. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
8.  Bake in batches until light brown and crisp (10-12 minutes).
9. Cool for 5 minutes on trays, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

'Till then,


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