German Butter Spekulatius

By Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes includes 3 hours resting time

Makes: 50-60 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 150g Butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 1 egg, medium
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ginger podwer
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 60g very finely ground almonds
  • 300g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Method

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer place the butter, egg and the sugar. With the whisk attachment beat the mixture for 10 minutes until fluffy. Add the lemon zest, ground almonds and the spices. With a spatula, mix into the mixture.
  2. Then add the baking powder and flour and once again with the spatula mix together. Then with your hands, quickly bring the dough together into a ball. Flatten into a disk, place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Line a baking tray with some baking paper. On a floured counter-top roll out the dough to about 4 mm thickness. Using a small cookie cutter cut out the cookies and place each on the tray. Using a cookie stamp / spekulatius roller, indent the motives on the cookies. Place the tray back into the fridge and allow to rest for 2 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Watching them very carefully so that they do not darken. If you find they are place another baking tray under the cookie tray and cover the cookies with baking paper. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For Perfect Spekulatius Cookies:

  • Make sure you do not knead or handle the dough too much. It tends to loose structure and will become too crumbly to roll out so thinly.
  • My mother-in-law prepares the shortcrust pastry a day earlier and leaves the dough to rest in a cool place closer to room temperature rather than the fridge. This gave the dough a very pliable consistency making it easy to roll out and work with.
  • In the oven the spekulatius cookies tend to brown / burn very easily as they are very thin. Keep an eye on them through out the baking process.
  • After baking and cooling the cookies should be crispy. Make sure the dough is rolled thinner as you normally would roll out the classic butter cookies.
  • Store these cookies separately in a dry cookie tin. Make sure you do not store them with moister kinds of cookies - otherwise these become soggy!
  • In Germany one can find special spekulatius spice mixes but I really prefer using my own individual whole spices and quickly grinding them. This is my favorite spice combination but you can also use ground nutmeg or allspice to complement the other spices.
  • You really do not need the fancy cookie stamps if you do not have them any simple cookie cutter with different Christmas motives will work just as well.

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