When I moved to the Netherlands a few years ago I thought I'd be missing Pandoro and other Italian Christmas delicacies. However the beauty of living in a different country is exploring different things and finding new favorites. So I met (and fell in love with) speculaas!
Speculaas is a typical shortcrust biscuit from the Netherlands (and Belgium) that is eaten during the December festivities (Sinterklaas and Christmas). It can be found in a variety of shapes and figures: a windmill, an image of the Sinterklaas tradition etc. I love the almond version, so I made them in different shapes with almond flakes on top. The best part of baking these biscuits? Your oven and kitchen will smell like Christmas in just 10 minutes!
- 190 gr flour: 120 gr rice four, 40 gr tapioca, 30 gr gluten free oats flour
- 4 gr xanthan gum
- 1 gr baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 ground cardamom
- 1/2 ground cloves
- 110 gr salted butter
- 100 gr sugar
- 4 drops almond extract
- 1 tbsp rum
- 20 gr flaked almonds
- Mix the flours in a bowl together with the xanthan and baking powder.
- Whisk the softened butter with the sugar until it becomes creamy. Add the spices and almond drops to the batter and whisk for a few more seconds.
- Incorporate the dry ingredients to the mix and, at last, add the rum. Create a ball with the dough, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Sprinkle a plain and clean surface with thin rice flour and place the dough on it. Roll out the dough ( 3-4 mm thick) and use your favorite stamp to create the cookies shape. Cover the surface of the biscuits with almond flakes.
- Place the cookies onto a tin covered in baking paper and bake for 10-12 mins until golden, then let them rest onto a cooling rack.
TIPS: If you don't have those flours n your pantry you can use other mixes or ready-to-use gluten free flour (ideally the ones suggested for cookies or pies). If xanthan or guar gum are already part of the ingredients, you might not need additional xanthan. You can preserve the cookies for 5-6 days in an airtight container.
Have you tried it? Do you have any suggestions? Leave your comment.