Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Speculaas Spiced Springerle

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Yesterday, Mom took a break from decking the halls and began to bake!  She's trying to decide what special goodies to make for neighbors and friends and tried out a new recipe this year - it's called Speculaas Spiced Springerle.  Basically, it's Speculoos (or Speculaas, whatever) only made using Springerle molds.

To avoid confusion:  Mom and Dad lived in Belgium for three years - in the French-speaking part.  There, they call the cookies Speculoos.  In the Flemish-speaking part, they are called Speculaas.  This recipe uses the Flemish spelling, but Mom uses the French spelling.  It's driving auto-correct (and me) a bit crazy.  I hope that clears things up!

Mom thought the new recipe was worth a try - and gave it a dry run before making any for anyone other than Dad and herself. The recipe is at the link above; here's how her process went!  Gather supplies and make the dough! In order to get the nice, crispy Speculoos Mom fell in love with when she and Dad lived in Belgium, she has to roll the dough really thin - to 1/8". Here's her secret to getting even, thin dough, for evenly baked cookies:

IMG_5137SpringerleMolds
Springerle molds, rolling pin, and dowels!

See those dowels? They are 1/8" in diameter. She puts the dough between them and rolls until the rolling pin is totally on the dowels. Lots of rolling.  The dowels make it easier - and even!  That's Mom's secret weapon!

Anyway, before you get to the rolling part, you have to chill the dough. That's really important, so after Mom made the dough and stuck it in the fridge, we did this to help:

IMG_5133CamMagsIcy
Me and Mags, walking in a winter wonderland

Fortunately, our ice has begun the big melt-down, and the sidewalks and Hudson Trail were clear enough for us to get a decent walk in. We just had to be careful of falling ice chunks!

Anyway, after the walk and lunch, the dough was ready!  Aren't we helpful?  Let's get rolling!

After Mom rolls the dough out, she cuts around each mold with a "pastry cutter":

IMG_5141Cutting

Is it just me, or does that "pastry cutter" look an awful lot like her "pizza cutter"?  Anyway - it works!

Cut, cut, cut, then get ready to stamp!  The recipe says to "lightly" flour the mold:

IMG_5140Stamp

Mom remembered quickly that you need to flour the mold before EACH cookie -- or else:

IMG_5142WhyYouShouldFlourTheMold
Mom may have uttered an HBO word or two

Oops.  Mom also remembered that it works best for her not to just "lightly" dust the mold, but to tamp flour into it mighty good with her pastry brush:

IMG_5143FlourTheMold
Mom recommends flouring the living daylights out of the mold

Even though this was the first time Mom made this recipe, she is no stranger to making Speculoos; it all came back to her - eventually!  (Mom's recipe is at this link!)

Anyway, she also recommends putting the square of dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet, THEN stamping it so it doesn't get stuck to your counter.

IMG_5144SpeculoosPreBake
Ready for the deep freeze!

Don't worry about the flour; what doesn't bake in can be brushed off after you bake it!

Before baking, at a minimum you need to freeze the cookies for half an hour.  Minimum!  Or let them sit in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.  This helps the Speculoos hold their shape during the bake!  We don't have room in our freezer for the cookie sheets, but we do have a screened-in deck right off the kitchen and cold temps, so Mom covered them in a light towel and stuck them on the deck for a while.

FINALLY, it's bake time!  Here's how they came out:

IMG_5147Speculoos
Speculoos with Nativity scene!

Mom decided that yes, this is a very nice recipe and she will do this to give as gifts.  She'll use a round cutter after she stamps, to make them a bit prettier.  For the test batch, this was fine.  She and Dad LOVE them with a hot cup of coffee.

Now, other than us taking Mom for a walk while the dough got cold, you might be wondering what this has to do with me and Mags, right?  Other than the cool tradition and all.  Here's what I did that Mom said was a HUGE help:

IMG_5152CamMagsTree
"I'm just SITTING by it, I'm not DOING anything."
"Yep, Mom!  No problem.  I'm watching her!"

You could say there's more than one Maggie Monitor in the house!

Does your Mom bake special cookies at Christmas?  Do you help?  We'd love to hear about them!

Cammie!

18 comments:

  1. OMD OMD the cookies came out PAWfect... with YOUR help,of course. Those thingys are a LOT of work.

    Our mom bakes lots of cookies at Christmas... ALWAYS Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip though... THEY are a MUST have...

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  2. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH the trial run is gorgeous and I know tasty. Are they gingersnap flavors? Mom says the dough kinda reminds her of ginger snaps.
    Mom used to make freezer cookies with red and green cherries and pecans. You roll them in to long logs. Put in the freezer for at least 3 hours to become firm. They you slice them in 1/2 dollar size pieces and bake. The red and green cherries are very pretty. My Gpa loved them but Mom hasn't made them in furever. I would not be allowed to help or get near the extremely clean counters once she starts the process...something about furs flying everywhere
    Hugs madi your bfff

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  3. ummmm - our mom doesn't bake. let's just say there are a few disasters that shall remain unmentioned. MOL however she says those look pretty nommy - but she would skip the stamp

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  4. We would starve before mom made us those delicious cookies. How cool they lived in Belgium
    Lily & Edward

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  5. Um, bring some over please!

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  6. Spectacular Speculoos, yum, yum, drool!!!!
    Wow, Mom, they do look extra special sum peeps are gonna be thrilled to receive them.
    Mum does bake, not too often 'cos we scoff it all!!!! You nose the bit in a recipe where it says take from the oven and cool before eating…well….nefer happens in our house, hehe!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  7. Those cookies would make wonderful gifts!! Maybe we can come by and taste a little one. What is the bus stop by your house?


    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  8. Those cookies do look good. We hope the neighbors and friends appreciate all the hard work that goes into making them.

    Cam i.e. Is doing a good job of monitoring. Lightning could use one of those too:)


    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

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  9. Those cookies are going to be a hit as gifts! They look yummy! Our mommy gives out cookies at Christmas but she uses her Grandma from Kansas's recipe which isn't quite as exotic as Belgium but they're still yummy! (Her Grandma Katie owned a bakery ages ago in St. Mary's called Katie's Korner and after she sold that she made cookies for the heck of it for peeps. Her car tag said "Cookies" on it!)

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  10. Those sure are pretty cookies and they're so big! Our mom loves making our gingerbread Airedale cookies for Christmas☺

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

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  11. Wow! We've never heard of those cookies, but they sound totally pawesome! Momma makes chocolate peanut clusters and Oreo cookie balls for Christmas. She makes about a gazillion (as much as our freezer will hold), packs them up and ships them to out of town friends, makes a gazillion more, gives them to local friends, makes a gazillion more, gives them to coworkers, and then takes the rest to Christmas dinner with her grandparents!

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  12. Wow! We've never heard of those cookies, but they sound totally pawesome! Momma makes chocolate peanut clusters and Oreo cookie balls for Christmas. She makes about a gazillion (as much as our freezer will hold), packs them up and ships them to out of town friends, makes a gazillion more, gives them to local friends, makes a gazillion more, gives them to coworkers, and then takes the rest to Christmas dinner with her grandparents!

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  13. My mum makes cookies too. And cake. And pierogi. Basically the kitchen is a mess for a whole week. And I never get any of it!

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  14. we are lucky - they sell those in the International food section at our stores...Mom tried them but didn't like them - maybe homemade ones taste better though

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  15. we dare you to say your blog post title five times fast :D
    your mom's trial-run cookies look fab and delish, Cammie! our mom hasn't done much holiday baking in years past besides cookies for Wriggley and other pup friends :)
    Say...you wouldn't want another charge to supervise, would you...?

    pip, smidgen, minnie, hollie

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  16. OMD...those cookies look totally delish!! Mama isn't going to do much baking this year....something about eating what bakes....
    Great job keeping an eye on Maggie, Cam!
    Smileys!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

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  17. Cam, you are the SIBE! Great work with the camera and overcoming spell check. Not too shabby with the Maggie Monitor duty, either. We have cookie stamps and a springerle rolling pin....wonder if those would work in place of molds for your Mom's recipe? If you get time, could you ask her for me and I'll let my Mom know. Maui and I will probably have kitty cat duty when the tree goes up. Maui sleeps beneath it and I'll lay in front. Then we only need to keep Jombie from sneaking between us. She's never had a tree before.

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  18. Our mom makes special Welsh cookies that have raisins in them! So we don't even get a taste being that raisins are sooooo bad for us pups. Darn.

    Kiki and Nala

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