This past year, we hosted an exchange student from the Netherlands. Marissa introduced us to all the Dutch goodies that have come out in the ten years since Niels lived there. Our son is especially fond of schudde buikjes, which are little speculaas cookies. Think Cookie Crisp cereal in gingerbread flavor.
Speculaas is a very popular spice in the Netherlands and used in a lot of sweets and treats, especially around the holidays. My favorite is gevulde speculaas (gingerbread bars stuffed with a layer of almond paste). You may have heard of speculoos, which is the Belgian word for speculaas. Belgians love their gingerbread, too!
Before our trip, I used up the last of my speculaas spice so I did some experimenting and made up my own spice mix, which I'm going to share with you today.
- 8 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cloves, ground
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 1/4 anise seed, ground
1. Gather your spices. All the spices above are staples in my spice drawer, but may not be in yours.
Now that you have this wonderful spice, what shall you make? Here are a few recipes to get started.
- Gevulde speculaas
- Speculaas cookies (In this recipe, substitute 2 teaspoons speculaas spice mix for the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves).
- Speculaas cupcakes
- Coming soon: my Dutchifed granola
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