Spekulatius -- German Spice Christmas Cookies
spekulatius 
 
by linda giuca 
hartford courant 
 
the spicy, crisp cookie is a specialty of 
germany's rhine area and holland, says the web 
site epicurious.com. the name spekulatius -- or 
"speculaas," as they are called in holland -- is 
derived from the latin word for an overseer, 
which in the fourth century was one of the duties of a bishop. 
 
spekulatius are not to be confused with another german specialty, 
"springerle," another holiday cookie. springerle, a confectioners' sugar 
dough 
often 
flavored with lemon oil, are rolled cookies, usually cut into squares, 
with a 
design 
pressed into the dough. 
 
springerle dough is creamy white and delicately flavored, spekulatius 
dough 
is "heavily spiced and very hearty," he says, although the flavor isn't 
that 
pronounced right from the oven. "as the cookies age, the pungent spices 
like 
cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom develop their distinctive 
flavors." 
 
3 cup  all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp  ammonium bicarbonate (aka "hirschorn salzor") or baking soda
1/2 tsp  salt
2 tsp  ground cinnamon
2 tsp  ground ginger
1/4 tsp  ground cloves
1 tsp  ground nutmeg
pinch  of cardamom
1/8 to 1/4 tsp  ground white pepper (to taste, optional)
12 Tbsp  unsalted butter, softened at room
  temperature
1 cup  packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup  plus 2 tbsp milk
 
in a large bowl, combine the flour, ammonium bicarbonate or baking soda, 
salt 
and the spices. (the white pepper adds a bit more "spicy tang" to the 
flavor 
but is not necessary, tom goddard says.) set aside. 
in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough paddle, beat the 
butter 
and brown sugar on medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 3- 4 
minuteson 
low speed, gradually add about half of the flour mixture. stop mixer from 
time to time to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to 
incorporate the unmixed flour. 
add the milk and remaining flour and mix until a dough begins to form. it 
will look crumbly. remove bowl from the mixer and, with lightly floured 
hands, 
form a ball with the dough, then place on a lightly floured counter top 
and 
knead until soft and firm. 
 
cut the dough into 6- 8 pieces; wrap individually in plastic wrap; 
refrigerate 2- 3 days to allow the spice mixture to develop. 
when ready to mold the cookies, remove several pieces of dough from the 
refrigerator and allow them to soften a bit. 
lightly flour each cookie mold; turn over; and tap to remove excess flour. 
on a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough. press dough 
firmly into the cavity of each mold. cut away any excess dough from the 
borders, 
then turn over the mold and tap gently to release the unbaked dough. (if 
dough 
does not pull away easily from the mold, use the tip of a paring knife to 
release it.) 
put cookies on parchment-covered cookie sheet; bake in a preheated 
350-degree 
oven for 15- 20 min. (if you are not ready to bake the cookies after 
unmolding them, return them to the refrigerator to keep their shape.) 
remove cookies from cookie sheet; cool thoroughly. store spekulatius 
between 
wax paper in covered tin containers. 
 
note: although baking soda can be substituted, goddard's recipes for 
spekulatius and springerle call for ammonium bicarbonate, also known as 
hirschorn salz. this leavening, similar to baking soda, is used in 
european baking. 
 
thanks to: blondie29...@yahoo.com 
 
 
-- 
(ID: 9779) Mirror: rec.food.recipes: Wed, Dec 3, 2003


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