Dutch month is all about spices. What's that I hear you say? You love cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cardamom and ground ginger? Well, you have come to the right place because all those things are in abundance on the blog this month. When The Netherlands was requested by a reader to be my next featured country, I knew immediately I had to make some speculaas! Firstly because they're so special, secondly because they're so quintessentially Dutch and thirdly, because typically they're often already vegan - so easy peasy!
You'll notice, however, that my speculaas aren't the fabulous windmill shape of the ones you buy in the supermarket. I wish! You can buy wooden moulds designed specifically for making your speculaas into wonderful Dutch shapes - called a Speculaasplank. I looked at a couple on the internet, but sadly they don't come cheap so I had to give them a miss. Instead I cut mine into cute shapes and decorated them with almonds, not quite as cool as intricate windmills - but they tasted just as good!
Adapted from godutch.com
2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2/3 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground pepper (optional, not included in many traditional recipes, but I love it!)
1 cup vegan margarine (nuttelex)
2 tbsp rice milk (or other non dairy milk), plus more if needed
Slivered almonds, to decorate
1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and all the spices in a big bowl.
2. Cut the margarine into the flour mix and rub with your fingers until it forms a fine bread crumb like mix.
3. Add the milk and knead with your hands until it forms a dough. If it's too dry to form a ball, then add a little more milk. Form into a ball and then wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight for the spices to penetrate into the dough.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
5. Sprinkle your benchspace with plenty of flour and dust your rolling pin. Cut your ball of dough in half and roll out one of the halves about 2/3 cm thick. Use shaped biscuit cutters and then place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
6. Decorate the tops of the biscuits with slivered almonds and bake for 15-18 minutes. Continue until you've used up all the dough. You'll probably need to bake 2-3 batches to get through them all.
7. Once baked, cool on a cooling rack.
I forgot to count how many biscuits it made! Bad blogger! :(
I think it made about 30. But that will depend on the size of your biscuit cutter.
As you can see, I made most of mine with a heart shaped cutter - but I also made a few of these cute cat shaped ones!