It’s been almost exactly six months since Sinterklaas, the good old saint and Santa Clause’s Dutch cousin, showered us with presents and then swiftly left for Spain. I can’t blame him for wanting to live in a more favorable climate. Right now the weather is cold and wet – much the same as it was half a year ago. Which is probably what triggered my nostalgia for speculaas – the cookies designated for Sinterklaas’s brief stay only. But baking speculaas in June would be inexcusably wrong and I don’t want to risk falling out of favor with Sinterklaas as that might result in no presents this year.
But he surely cannot object to speculaas flavored chocolate chip cookies, can he? Maybe I will send some to Spain though, just to make sure we stay on good terms.
I like my chocolate chip cookies thin and crisp, that’s why I bake them right away. But if you prefer slightly thicker, chewier cookies, refrigerating the batter overnight will help prevent spreading. I also like to have lots of chocolate in them. Some nuts too. I will not advice you to reduce these. The speculaas spice mixture is not carved in stone and you can vary that according to your preferences – see also the speculaas post.
Speculaas spice chocolate chip cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
115 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 tbsp walnut oil (optional)
75 g (½ cup) sugar
50 g (¼ cup) dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
170 g (1 ¼ cup) unbleached flour<
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
120 g (1 cup) coarsely chopped almonds
150 g (1 cup) coarsely chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you are using the walnut oil, take away 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cream the butter, oil and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in the eggs, then add the vanilla and salt. Add flour and spices, then mix in the almonds and chocolate.
Form the cookie dough into rounds about the size of a large unshelled walnut. Place them about 5 cm (2 inches) apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Press down the tops to flatten them slightly. Bake until lightly browned on top and slightly browner on the bottom, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Store in an air-tight container, for up to 5 days.