Our family loves the Biscoff spread and cookies. About 5 years ago I was blessed to be sent on a work trip to Belgium, which is where I discovered the flavor speculaas in chocolates, cookies and a spreadable butter. When I came back I searched out this yummy flavor, and first I found it online, then eventually the spreadable butter was available at the supermarket Kings (I hear now it is available also at Trader Joes) and the cookies, oddly enough, were stocked at some local drug stores. I have used the cookies crushed for crusts like in my custard pie.
Now I have a recipe to make this spicey, warm and rich cookies at home. Although similar to gingerbread cookies, they are absolutely unique and stand alone as a special treat that are worth the effort! You may have had them on a flight with your coffee, remember those yummy cookies?
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks butter (slightly softened)
zest of 2 oranges
Colored sugars to decorate
Put the following dry ingredients into a large bowl: Flours, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Whisk the ingredients until well combined. Cut up the sticks of butter into chunks (about a tablespoon each) and pour them into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork, until it looks like small chunks or peas.
Beat the first egg with a whisk or fork, then add to the bowl using the same method of cutting it into the batter. Then Beat the next egg and add it to the batter with the orange rind and combine with the fork.
Grab half of the dough into your hands, kneading it a bit until it makes a big ball that stays together nicely. Cover with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge. Repeat with the remainder of the batter, making a second dough ball. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the first dough ball and take half of it and put onto a floured board. Put the other half back into the refrigerator. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick.
Tip: Make sure you put flour on the rolling pin, the board and on top of the dough, this is pretty sticky.
Cut into whatever shapes you want. Place the cookies on a parchment covered cookie sheet (you really need the parchment this time).
Place the cookies 1 inch a part. Top with colored sugar, then bake for about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. You will know they are done when they are dry and the underneath is slightly browned. Cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes, then place on metal racks to finish cooling. This will make 4-5 dozen cookies, enough to give some away, store some for the week in a cookie jar, and freeze a dozen or two for future parties or cravings!
Engage the kids for this one, little ones can decorate (3 and up, seriously, it’s only sugar!), can help roll the dough and cut the shapes (8 and up) or even make the dough (10 and up), it’s a great lesson in fractions to make the dough on their own!