A holiday tradition in Holland (“windmill cookies”), Belgium, Northern Germany, and Scandinavia. They can printed with Springerle molds that are of a low and even depth.
What you’ll need:
3/4 cup softened butter, preferably unsalted
2 cups brown sugar (spooned, not packed)
1 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, cloves, ginger, cardamon, and mace
2 teaspoons cocoa
grated rind of one lemon
3 cups flour
4-6 tablespoons milk
shaved or sliced almonds for undersides and milk for tops
Cream butter and brown sugar together; add egg, almonds, then salt and flavor ingredients, and finally work in flour. Add 4-6 tablespoons milk to make a stiff dough. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
Select cookie molds that are shallow in depth and without fine details. Traditional Speculaas molds often have bold stylized designs. The cookie is meant to be a thin crisp cookie when baked.
Flour molds (for every use), knocking out excess. If using a wooden mold instead of a resin replica, brush the mold lightly with vegetable oil once only and then flour mold before each pressing. Press dough into mold, then cut excess dough off flush with back of mold with a wire or knife. Unmold carefully onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheet which is sprinkled with the shaved almonds. Brush with milk. No drying is needed before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Yield 30-90 cookies depending on size.
* Note: If you seem to have some “fading” of pattern during baking try chilling the molded cookies a few minutes before baking.