Speculoos Buttons

Speculoos Cookies

There are so many different words to describe a good “spiced” treat.  Of course the obvious is just to use the word “spice” – like spice cookies or spice cake.  Of course, then there is the word “ginger” – which is my favorite (gingerbread) – and then came speculoos.  A few years ago, I was visiting my cousins in Belgium.  They were living there for a couple of years right after they got married.  What a way to start a life together!  Well, they took me to their favorite chocolate shop.  This place was amazing.  The chocolates were not only delicious, they were spectacular looking – like a piece of art.  I remember looking at the different types, and one of them was “speculoos.”  I asked them what that was, and both their eyes just rolled backwards – they loved that type.  They explained to me that it was cinnamon ginger spice.  That was the first time I had heard that word, but I guess it is pretty common, I then found a speculoos flavored macaroon, and some ice cream on the same trip.  It was so odd that I travelled all over Europe as a college student, but never encountered that word then.

Fast forward a few months, and I was reading emails on our company’s internal alias for “Food and Wine Enthusiasts” – and someone was looking for those “Biscoff” cookies that Delta Airlines carries on certain flights.  I didn’t realize they were such a hot commodity.  That conversation quickly turned to the “speculoos spread” – basically a spice spread, with a similar consistency to peanut butter.  Who knew they actually carried it at Trader Joes!  I swear this speculoos thing has almost a cult following!

A few months ago I was reading my Bon Appetit, and came across this recipe.  I almost went to the kitchen right then and there – but I had a lot going on so decided to save it for another time.  That time finally came – and you know why?  I was looking for a cookie that I could give my new mommy friends with their Shepherd’s Pie – something that could sit in the freezer until they were craving something sweet – almost like a roll of Pillsbury cookie dough.  When I saw that these cookies made three rolls – it was too good to be true.  One roll for each of my friends, and one roll for me…  OMG – AMAZING!!!!  First of all, the smell that these cookies give your house – just the perfect fall/holiday smell – ok, it is March, but who doesn’t love their house smelling like that?  They tasted great – not too sweet, but just sweet enough.  You can’t just stop at one.

So – I thought it was only fitting to post these tonight – as I sit hear waiting for my Delta flight – where I am sure I will get some of those Biscoff cookies.  Seriously though, those are good – but these mean business.  Everyone should have a roll waiting for them, without having to get on an airplane.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground  cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine  sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly  grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground  cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored  (light) molasses
  • 1 large egg, room  temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • Sanding or turbinado sugar

Preparation

Whisk first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. Using  an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter in a medium bowl until smooth,  about 2 minutes. Add both sugars and molasses; continue to beat until mixture is  smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla; mix for 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients and mix to blend well.

Scrape dough from bowl and divide into thirds. Using your  palms, roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch log. Wrap logs tightly in plastic  or parchment paper and freeze for at least 3 hours. (For neater edges, remove  logs from freezer after 1 hour and roll on counter.)

DO AHEAD:  Dough can be made up to 2 months ahead. Keep  frozen.

Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to  375°. Line 3 baking  sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking  mats.

Whisk egg white in a small bowl to loosen; lightly brush all  over 1 log. Sprinkle with (or roll in) sanding sugar. Using a long, slender  knife, slice off a sliver of dough from each end of log to make ends flat. Cut  log into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. Transfer to 1 baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch  apart; place in freezer while you cut the next log. (The cookies hold their  shape better if you bake when dough is cold.) Repeat with remaining  dough.

Bake 2 sheets of cookies, rotating the sheets from top to  bottom and front to back after 6 minutes, until tops are golden brown and  centers are almost firm, 11-13 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let  cool. Repeat with third sheet of cookies.

DO AHEAD: Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room  temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Speculoos Buttons

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6 thoughts on “Speculoos Buttons

  1. 15 hours on a plane! I’d need cookies too. I printed this recipe off tonight too. You’ve sold me. They sound like the are heavenly. I can’t resist a good spice cookie either. :)

  2. These are wonderful! I skipped the egg white/sugar step due to laziness but they still taste great. Being able to put most of the dough in the freezer for later is appealing; I live with two other adults, and though we like cookies we don’t need to feel rushed to finish a batch before they go stale. And now when one of them makes big eyes at me for some sweets, I have something easy to resort to.

    I’ll definitely make these again.

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