These are my favourite of all the Christmas Cookies. Dutch Speculaas cookies, or what I grew up calling windmill cookies. They are a type of spiced shortcrust biscuit, traditionally baked for consumption on or just before St Nicholas' feast in the Netherlands. In recent years they have become available pretty much all year round.
Speculoos are thin, very crunchy, slightly browned and crisp and spicy. Traditionally they are stamped with pictures . . . which is why I called them windmill cookies growning up as the ones we bought were always shaped like windmills.
Most Christmas's I have been able to buy them at Lidl, but we don't have a Lidl in Chester, only Aldi, so the last couple of years I have been missing them. They are actually quite dangerous to have around the house because I can eat them like potato chips . . . they are so crisp and delicious and moreish.
I found a recipe to make my own on Pinterest the other day. It comes from www.saltmag.com. They looked really good and easy to make. I have tried other recipes through the years and always been disappointed in the results. They have never tasted as good as my memory of the windmill cookies of my childhood.
These did not disappoint. They taste even better than the ones you can buy, and best of all . . . they are homemade and there is not a preservative or artificial ingredient included. Everything is pure and natural . . . and delicious. Crisp. Buttery. Perfectly spiced!
*Speculaas*Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
The cookie cutters I used to make these are the set of Tala 5 star cookie cutters. There are five to the set in graduating sizes from only 1 1/2 inches to four inches in diameter. They were easy to use and are dishwasher proof. They also store easily, fitting snuggly together.
Available at all good cook shops for approximately £4.99. I highly recommend.