I’m sure that, like me, everyone was busy preparing for the holidays this past weekend. I was doing a bit of work on this last week, too, and by Friday I was worn out. Sometimes, no matter how much you need your body to work for you, it just decides to quit. I ended up sleeping for 10-12 hours a night on both Friday and Saturday, which, if yo know me, is unheard of. I can hardly sleep for more than 7 or 8 hours at a time, usually, but both Kramer and I were completely worn out and without a single ounce of energy left. Spending Friday and Saturday in really helped us to re-cooperate, but, of course, as soon as we were feeling better, we had to start our holiday baking. That means that we baked over 450 cookies on Sunday alone for our offices; mostly for an office party, but we also made gift bags with some of the cookies. One of the cookies that went into said gift bags were these Speculoos cookies. Kramer and I love speculoos – we discovered it when we moved to New York and have been smitten ever since. I love the variety of spices in the light, delicate cookie – they are perfect for having with a cup of coffee or tea without being overwhelmingly spiced, like gingerbread, which is usually better with some icing. Speculoos, however, need no icing at all, just a sprinkle of sanding sugar, so I feel perfectly alright having one with breakfast (no judgement, please). My next mission is to grind these cookies up and turn them into the beloved speculoos paste that everyone seems to be crazy about at the moment. For now, though, I’ll just enjoy this simple Belgian gingersnap and try to take a breath before the holidays officially arrive.
Lay another piece of parchment over the top of the dough and roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, until firm, or as long as overnight. I let mine refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and cut out your dough with a 1-1/2 inch round cutter. Place the cut out cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with some sugar (I used decorative sanding sugar, but raw sugar or granulated sugar work well, too).
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
- 2½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed well
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- sanding sugar or raw sugar, for sprinkling
- Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cloves in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy, but 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg and beat until just combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture, until the dough is just moistened.
- Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together, then pull out a large sheet of parchment. Lightly flour the parchment paper and divide the dough in half, placing one half on top of the parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and roll the dough out until it is about ¼-inch thick. Do the same with the other piece of dough, then place them, still between the paper, in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour – I think that letting them sit overnight is best, but 3 hours should be fine.
- When it’s time to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1-1/2 inch in diameter cookie cutter (a shot glass would also work well), cut out your cookies and place them on the baking sheet; the dough may be a bit tricky to work with, but using a butter knife to slide the cut out cookies onto the trays seemed to work well for me. Keep doing this until you’ve used up all your dough, collecting the scraps and re-rolling the dough out until you have used it all up. Sprinkle your cookie cut-outs with some sanding sugar or raw sugar, if you like.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until they are almost set and lightly golden. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to finish cooling on another surface. These will keep well in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.