Speculaas (Belgian Spice Cookies) paired with Silvius Pale Ale

Prettig sinterklaasfeest! Happy St. Nicholas Day! Enjoy the fest with these traditional Belgian spice cookies. Usually folk enjoy them with a cuppa tea or coffee, but we felt Silvius was a little more festive.

Silvius Cookie Pairing
Silvius Cookie Pairing Photo by Samantha Haddow

 

Recipe adapted from NPR (http://www.npr.org/2012/12/12/166961539/belgian-sweets-not-just-for-sinterklaas) by Samantha Haddow

yields about 3 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ c sugar
  • ¾ c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • ½ c almond meal*
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp salt

* almond meal or almond flour is readily available at most grocery store. To make your own, pulse about ⅔ cup sliced or slivered almonds with 1 Tbsp flour in a blender or food processor until finely ground.

Directions

  • Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy and well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined.
  • In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking soda, spices and salt.
  • Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly.
  • Divide dough into 2 portions. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out ¼ inch thick. Cut using cookie cutters. Arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet, spacing the cookies at least an inch apart. Alternatively, press the dough into a cookie mold to shape.
  • 10 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are browned and slightly crisp.

Recipe Prepared & Taste-Tested by Samantha Haddow