Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lazy Bakers: Belgian Speculaas

*panting* Okay, Melinda, Jeanette, and BBC! *pant* I caught up! I'm here! *wheeze* And look! I brought my Speculaas!


December 18, 2008
Name of Cookie: Belgian Speculaas
Occasion: A Cookie Party, and the Lazy Bakers!
Consituents: Speculaas--a buttery, spicy cookie

Speculaas comes from the Latin word for mirror, as BBC smartly discovered when she wrote about her cookies. These cookies are traditionally made using wooden molds--as Melinda shows us--hence the mirror name becomes clear. Speculaas can also be made with almond slivers, as Jeanette chose to do (see Melinda's blog for Jeanette's photos). They are a buttery, warm, and spicy cookie perfect for a winter cookie party.

I made these about 3 weeks ago, and from what I remember they were really easy to put together. Melinda warned me that they had a lot of ginger in them, but even though I don't like fresh ginger, baked ginger is generally a-ok. I put them together according to recipe--including cutting the butter in with 2 knives. I completely forgot BBC's advice to use the food processor to cut in the butter so this took a while. Luckily Joelf, Wilman, and I had put on A Christmas Story so I set myself up in front of the television and got to work.

Since I decided against buying the traditional wooden molds to shape the cookies, I rolled the dough into two logs and left them in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, as Joelf, Wilman and I got the apartment and ourselves ready for the cookie party, I sliced and baked the Speculaas. I must have forgotten that the recipe instructs to cut the cookies into 1/4 inch slices as mine are more like 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. The other Lazy Bakers blogged about their crisp cookies but mine were more tender. I am a little sad I forgot about this tip since I really love thin, crisp, spicy cookies. But mine were still good, I assure you!

The cookie party was a quiet affair. It was just at the beginning of the--dun dun duhhh: Arctic Blast!--and the roads were icy and the weather guessers promised a good deal of snow later in the night. The hardcore cookie partiers were all of my favorite people, and we ended the night a little high on sugar and buttered rums, gathered around the coffee table playing Apples to Apples. The snow didn't come for another day or so, but when it did (and it was the worst snowstorm in 40 years), I knew we were all well-armed with yummy cookies, including some tasty, spicy Speculaas.

hardcore cookie party people

A neat little video of Portland during the--dun dun duhhh: Arctic Blast!


  1. A cookie party? Yes, I love to attend!... You forgot to invite me? hmmm.
    How many different cookies did you have? Your speculaas look very good.
    I love the Arctic Portland clip. Memories.

  2. I'm sure those cookies are delish! And that is a great video!

  3. Melinda, you are invited to any little shindig I throw, as I am dying to meet you and share baked goods! We had three chocolate chip cookies, plus about seven other kinds. I have a photo of the spread, but it is after some people left and took cookies home with them. My friend Noah was most impressed by the "sausage cookies." Very clever.

    Kitty, thanks! Happy New Year!

  4. Anonymous6/1/09 19:29

    I can't believe you forgot the advice about the food processor! And here I thought that you hung on my every word.
    Nice snowstorm! Welcome to the world of winter!

  5. Anonymous6/1/09 19:35

    Ha. I was so excited by your post that I called you BBC when everyone knows you're ECL.

  6. BBC, I was a little confused by your first comment, but then it all made sense in the end! I wish I had remembered your food processor advice. I couldn't even find my pastry cutter!
    The world of winter--I don't know how you Winter People do it. My hat's off to all of you!

  7. Ah, the Arctic Blast. Good times! I was just happy that I didn't have to drive more than a couple miles at any time that week. And that my family managed to drive in from Bend and Medford on Christmas Eve! I think Arctic Blast is a perfect time for a cookie party...you're so clever! I"m going to have to plan a cookie party...

  8. Amanda, good times indeed! But I am glad the snow is all gone now.
    I would like to throw a cookie party every month! Cookies are the best, mmm hmm.