Everybody’s got their favorite cookie cutters, and chances are they only see the light of day at this time of year. If I’m going to bother rolling and cutting cookies, then I want it to be fun, and I’m partial to my snowflake cutters.
Speculoos are a traditional Dutch holiday spice cookie. This dough is a little more interesting than plain sugar cookies, and yet not as overwhelmingly spiced and peppery as gingerbread can sometimes be. It smells like the holidays and makes a nice all purpose cookie dough.
Some years I use these cutters with salt dough and make tree ornaments to give away. This year it’s strictly edible.
Use any cutter you like. The dough rolls out easily and reforms and re-rolls easily as well, so there’s little waste.
I just used a plain white royal icing to glaze these cookies. The frosting dries hard, so you can stack them for giving.
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 2 1/4 cups all-purposed flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (about 11 tablespoons)
- 2 egg whites (or you can use dried egg whites mixed with water according to the package)
- 2-3 cups confectioner's sugar (add it in slowly, just enough so you get a spreadable consistency, add more sugar for a stiffer icing)
- decorations if desired
- Set oven to 350F
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Turn the dough out onto a board and bring together into one piece, if it's crumbly, knead it a bit. Cut the dough in 2 and form flat discs, as if for pie dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Roll out the dough to your desired thickness and cut your cookies. If you spray the inside of your cutters with cooking spray, they will release the dough easier. Place the cut out cookies on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, depending on thickness, and cool on a rack. They won't brown, and will firm up as they cool.
- Frost with royal icing and add decorative sugars, etc., if you want to.
- To make the frosting, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add in the sugar, and beat well, until you get stiff peaks.
- Transfer to a baggie with the edge clipped, or a pastry bag. Or, you can just spoon the icing down over the cookies for total coverage like I did. If the icing seems too thick, thin with a little warm water. Add in food coloring if you like.