Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spooky Speculaas Moons (aka Homemade Biscoff Cookies)

There's no other explanation for this. I had a craving.

I was introduced to Biscoff as a cookie many years ago, given away on a Delta Airlines flight. I hate flying, but man I loved those cookies. One time when I wasn't with him, my father asked if he could have an extra one to take home for me. A nice flight attendant gave him a whole sleeve. I was in heaven for a week or two (that was several years ago, before the airlines hit so much financial trouble and well before my diet). They're not cheap where I live and never on sale, and seeing as I don't travel anymore, I only get one every so often when my father brings them back.

It seems like everyone is using Biscoff spread these days in their recipes as well. It's made by the same company, and supposedly tastes like the cookie. Again, it's not cheap. It's $5 a jar at my local grocery store and even more at the specialty store, and similar prices online. Deals just don't seem to be had. Yet here I am, reading recipes for Biscoff this and Biscoff that. I want some.

As it turns out, Biscoff are speculoos or speculaas cookies, which are traditionally eaten on the Feast of St. Nicholas (not Christmas) in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Northern France. Recipes are actually fairly easy to come by and are written in plain English. Some are pressed into molds, like Biscoff cookies, others are rolled. I had to do it.

I selected this recipe, because I have a big set of cookie cutters that I just bought and wanted to use for Halloween, and because I didn't want the hassle of ground/roasted/blanched almonds (they're in this recipe too, on top, and easily omitted or added as you like). I modified it somewhat, halving it and subbing allspice for aniseed out of personal preference. Neither are in the traditional mix of speculaas spices, but after baking them, I looked on the ingredients list for Biscoff and the only spice listed is cinnamon. So Biscoff aren't traditional speculaas either.

My recipe, as follows:
Spooky Speculaas Moons (aka Homemade Biscoff Cookies)
Adapted from
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
9 tblsp butter (1/4 cup +1 tblsp, or 1 1/8 sticks)
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tblsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
dash of salt

  1. Cream butter and sugar together
  2. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Gradually add to the creamed mixture, mixing well, until the dough forms ball
  3. Roll out to about 1/4” thick. Use cookie cutters to shape into desired forms
  4. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes, until lightly brown

Word of warning: these smell good. Really good. I honestly couldn't wait to seal them up because they were making me hungry. They're not quite Biscoff – a little spicier and crunchier. But they are as good as they smell. In fact, I think I like them better than Biscoff.

Now I just need to find a way to get the spread. On the other hand, there's no eggs in this dough...

I might have another project on my hands.

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