Speculaas is a special Dutch Christmas treat. It is a spicy cookie with almonds,
and is traditionally molded into the shape of Saint Nicholas. Specialty bakers in
the Netherlands still make the giant, 12-inch high Speculaas using antique, carved
molds. This is a richer variation, filled with almond paste.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 (7 ounce) package almond paste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons finely sliced almonds
- Sift flour with baking powder.
- Cut butter into flour mixture.
- Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, milk and lemon zest; mix well.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle 1/4-inch thick.
Cut in half.
- Place half on a heavy sheet of aluminum foil, folding the edges of foil up around
dough to make a shallow, fitted pan.
- Roll out the almond paste to fit on top of dough.
- Brush top of dough in foil pan with beaten egg, then put almond paste on top.
- Cover with remaining half of the dough, pressing down lightly to eliminate air
- Brush top with beaten egg. Scatter almond slices over the top, pressing them
lightly into the dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, or until done.
- Let cool, then cut into bars.