First of all, I wanted to dedicate this recipe to my Dad who just achieved climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He came back today and I am very proud of him as he made it to the summit!
I did not think it would be so difficult to find a good recipe for the Speculoos biscuits. The reason may be that it’s never really the same when you do them and when you get them from someone you love.
As my Dad was raised by his Belgium mum, he truly loves Speculoos… with his coffee, with apple compote, with ice cream, even as a snack in the middle of the afternoon, just to remember the old days when he used to share a “4 heures” with his brother/sister/cousins.
If you never tried a Speculoos, it is a little dark brown biscuits especially produced in the North of France and in Belgium.
As you have understood, Speculoos is part of the family culture and I wanted to give it a try.
I did not get it right at my first attempts as I was using recipes with Cinnamon only. It’s only a few days ago that I opened one of Anne-Sophie Pic’s cookbook and found THE Speculoos recipe!
It’s not a complicated one as it’s filed under the recipes for kids section…. but what makes the difference is the use of the 4 spices that will give a taste more complex and uncommon.
Basically, I kept all the proportions the same but I only change one of the ingredients. Instead of using muscovado sugar, I used dark brown sugar which is a stronger and softer sugar.
This will make it harder to roll the dough but I really think it was the missing component to get closer to the genuine taste.
- 140g butter at room temperature – 4.9 oz
- 80g caster sugar – 2.8 oz
- 120g dark brown sugar – 4.2 oz
- 4g four spices – 0.15 oz
- 270g plain flour – 9.5 oz
- 3g baking soda – 0.1 oz
- 2g salt – 0.07 oz
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tbsp water
In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid, work the butter with the paddle until creamy and airy, add both sugars and keep on working the dough until well combined.
Mix together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda and add them to the mix. When the dough is homogeneous, add the egg and eventually a little water.
Unlike cookie dough, the Speculoos dough will be very soft and hard to get together. With a serving spoon, drop it on a piece of cling film and fold it in then put it in the freezer for 2 hours.
Once the dough is firm, preheat your oven to 150° C (300°F) then line the dough on parchment paper or silicon mat into a square or rectangular shape 2mm thick. If you have trouble lining your dough, cover it with a piece of cling film at least the size of your baking tray. This way, the dough won’t stick to your rolling pin, you’ll just have to remove it delicately once the dough is properly lined.
Bake it for 20 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, the dough is still soft when you press it with your finger. It’s normal and it will be very helpful as it will allow you to cut the biscuits.
Use a sharp long knife and start cutting the biscuits. You can also use star, heart, animals cutters if you want to have more fun. In that case, keep all the leftovers in an airtight box. You can use them to replace Digestive biscuits in your Cheesecake base!
Let them cool down and enjoy them the way you like them!