Speculaas

Speculaas

Makes 30 or so cookies

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (280 grams)

½ cup finely ground almond flour (about 50 grams if you’re going to grind your own almonds)

2 tablespoons milk or cream

Granulated sugar (for coating)

Whisk the all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and spices together.  Cream the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a stand mixer until well mixed and fluffy.  Beat in the almond flour until well mixed and any lumps are gone.  Turn the mixer to low speed and beat in the flour/spice mixture about ¼ cup at a time until it’s all mixed in.  Beat in the milk.  You should have a soft dough that holds together.  Put a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, then put the dough on it and pat it into a flat disk.  Wrap up the disk and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to a few days).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F with a rack in the center of the oven, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick mats.  Put at least ½ cup granulated sugar on a large plate.  Using a measuring tablespoon, measure out 1-tablespoon pieces of dough and roll each piece into a ball.  Roll the balls in sugar.  Place 15 balls on one of the lined baking sheets.  Dip the bottom of a drinking glass or a 1-cup liquid measuring cup in the sugar and then press down on each ball to flatten it into a disk about as big as the bottom of the measuring cup.  You may have to slide the disk of dough off the bottom, but it will come off easily.

Bake for 15 minutes and check the cookies – they should be getting a little bit browned on the edges, but not deeply browned.  Bake a couple of minutes more if necessary.  Remove from the oven, and let them sit on the sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.  Repeat with the second sheet.

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