Speculaas – 2010 Cookie Challenge
Well THAT was a pain in the ass.
I was all excited to try making Speculaas. Gingerbread-y cookies? Great! I get to order a new kitchen toy (the mold)? Awesome! I end up with pretty little cookies? Even better!
Except that what had failed to occur to me was that the two rounds of dough I whipped up yesterday and left to take in the fridge were considerably larger than the indentations in the cookie mold. And so therefore, after an hour of pressing the balls of dough into the floured mold and ever-so-gently trying to pry them out so they wouldn’t break, I had barely made a dent in the first one.
Not having six more hours to press the cookies, I did a cheat, as you can see on the left. I rolled a single block of dough, about 1/2 inch thick, over the whole block. Peeling it off, I cut it into three pieces, each with a pretty flower sticking out of the top. Not as delicate or exacting, but as good as it was going to get.
The cookie mold will have a prominent place on my wall….but I’m not sure it’ll ever touch dough again.
And this is the last of my Saveur Cookie Challenge posts for this year! I’m headed home for the holidays tomorrow, cookies in hand, and want to wish my fellow bakers (Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, Courtney of Coco Cooks,Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook, Judy of No Fear Entertaining, Kelly of Sass & Veracity, Michelle of Big Black Dogs, RJ of Flamingo Musings, Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench, and Tiffany of The Nesting Project) and everyone else a Happy New Year!
Speculaas (Molded Ginger Cookies)
Adapted from Saveur
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until combined. Add half the flour mixture; mix. Add milk and remaining flour mixture; mix. Form into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for two hours.
2. Heat oven to 350°. Grease your speculaas mold, and flour lightly (you don’t need to re-grease it for each batch, but do add the flour each time). Tap out the extra flour by hitting the mold on the countertop. Working with one disk at a time, break off small chunks and press into a floured speculaas molds-using a sharp knife scrape away excess dough until you start to see the outline of your shape. Alternately, a single block of dough, the dimensions of the mold and about 1/2″ thick, can be pressed into the shape. Press to ensure a clear imprint, then trim edges.
3. Invert the mold and gently press the edges towards the middle to free the cookie. Put cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1″ apart. Bake until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
I’m joined in the effort by: Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, Courtney of Coco Cooks,Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook, Judy of No Fear Entertaining, Kelly of Sass & Veracity, Michelle of Big Black Dogs, RJ of Flamingo Musings, Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench, and Tiffany of The Nesting Project.