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  Added: Apr 11, 2006  •  Visited (1620)  •  Print version Print this recipe (70)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe (3)  •  Reviews (1)  •  Average rating Rate this recipe (4.0)
 
Saint Nicholas Spice Cookies
(Speculaasjes)
What You Need:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus 12 tablespoons butter (1½ quarter-pound sticks), softened
  • 2 to 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • ½ teaspoon ground anise, or ½ teaspoon anise seeds pulverized with a mortar and pestle or in a small bowl with the back of a spoon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light or dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 24 blanched whole almonds, split into halves
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds plus ½ cup sliced almonds

  • How To Cook:
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a pastry brush, spread 2 tablespoons of the softened butter evenly on two large baking sheets. Combine 2 cups of the flour, the cinnamon, mace, anise, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt, and sift them together into a bowl. Set aside.

    2. In a deep bowl, cream the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter and the sugar together by beating and mashing them against the sides of the bowl with a large spoon until light and fluffy.

    3. Beat in the milk a tablespoon at a time, then add the flour-and-spice mixture about ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

    4. When finished the dough should be firm enough to gather into a compact ball; if necessary, add up to ¼ cup more flour by the tablespoonful. Should the dough become too stiff to beat easily, knead in the remaining flour with your hands.

    5. To make small rectangular cookies of the excess dough (or to make small cookies of all of the dough), roll out the dough between two sheets of wax paper until it is about 1/16 inch thick.

    6. Gently pull away the top sheet of wax paper and, with a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 1½-by-2½-inch rectangles. Press the sliced almonds gently into the cookies, dividing the nuts evenly among them.

    7. Refrigerate the cookies for about 30 minutes, then transfer them from the bottom sheet of wax paper to the buttered baking sheets with a metal spatula.

    8. Bake the figures in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch. The cookies will take only 8 to 10 minutes to brown and firm.

    9. Let the figures and cookies cool to room temperature before removing them from the baking sheets. Stored in airtight containers, the cookies will keep for several weeks.
     
    Serving Size: to make 6 dozen cookies
     This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Europe » Netherlands
    Main Ingredient » Grains & Cereals » Flour
    Dish » Cookies

     





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