Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spectacular Spekulatius & a Giveaway!



Here in our little corner of Germany Spekulatius are a holiday cookie tradition.  Gilding them is a new Mad Hausfrau tradition which will probably be frowned upon by every German within reading distance of this blog. 


Sorry.  I am a Spekulatius rebel.




Last year I bought three Spekulatius molds at the Aachen Christmas market.




Here is the stand that was selling them.




Hmmm, it was hard to decide which ones to buy because I thought they were all so beautiful.




I settled on a man and woman, both in traditional costumes and an elephant.




To use the molds you first flour them to prevent the dough from sticking.




You then roll the dough out over the mold.




After trimming the dough off the edges of the mold, you turn it upside down and bang the top edge of it on the counter surface and the imprinted dough falls out onto the counter.



Using a sharp knife, trim around the edges of the dough form to cut out the shape.


The cookies are supposed to be thin. You are supposed to press down hard while rolling the dough. Being the Spekulatius rebel, I made mine a bit thick.  I also found the thicker version to be easier to work with as this was the first time I have  used the molds.


The Spekulatius recipe is below.  I thought you might want the deal on the Giveaway first:


I visited the Aachen Christmas market again this year and picked up another pair of molds to give away to one of you.




They are hand carved out of wood, wash easily and on the back there is a hole where you can hang them on a hook or nail on the wall.  So if you are not inclined to make Spekulatius with them, they make a lovely piece of handmade German art for your kitchen or home. They can also be used to mold butter. The molds will be shipped anywhere. No geographic restrictions.


To enter to win, leave a comment on this post below by December 13th.  Using that random generator thingie, I will announce a winner here December 14th.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. I WILL TRY TO DO IT AGAIN IN 2011!




Spectacular Spekulatius


I consulted several of my vintage German cookbooks and a few of my Mother in Law's to find a recipe. In general there are three versions of this cookie: butter, almond and spicy. 


I ended up using the recipe that came with the molds which seemed to be a cross between the almond and spice versions. I did have to add more butter to the batter. It was way too crumbly. So maybe this is a hybrid version of all three.


Ingredients:
  • 2 to 2+1/2 sticks butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 18 oz. flour
  • 7 oz brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 oz crushed almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon clove powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground cardamon
  • flour for dusting molds
  • Gold dust and small amount of vodka for gilding
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Mix butter, salt and egg together.
  • Half the flour and mix the rest of the ingredients into one half of the flour and add that to the mixture.
  • Knead the other half of the flour into the dough. The dough should not be too sticky.
  • Let the dough rest for 24 hours (I put it in the fridge for the last 2 hours)
  • Roll out and cut into desired shapes or if using molds follow the directions above.

24 comments:

  1. These are so cute! And the recipe looks nice and light. Fancy yet simple!!

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  2. I love Spekulatius cookies, esp. those with almonds. I like revolutionary recipes. :-)) Those wood moulds are pretty expensive.

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  3. The molds and the cookies are just beautiful!

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  4. These are such gorgeous cookies and the molds too! I love that you can hang them for decoration too!

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  5. just stumbled on your site looking for spekulatius recipes and i love it! thanks for the recipe and i look forward to exploring your site!

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  6. I've never seen this style of cookies before and the moulds are works of art! Definitely something I will have to try.

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  7. Wow.... but I'm sure you don't want the expense of shipping overseas. Still, it's a great giveaway.

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  8. It's my dream to someday spend Christmas in Germany. Those cookies look great, and the molds are a work of art.

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  9. Oh boy! Spekulatius (doesn't that sound like a happy exclamation, like "awesome"? Spekulatius!) were my favorite cookie as a kid- I sometimes found them at the little German bakery in town, but never elsewhere. And since I'd been a kid, I didn't know what I was looking for! This post lets me know what I've been missing all these years, for real!

    ...And now I'm gluten free, so the traditional recipe won't work. But I bet I could make something Spekulatius with almond flour! And the right molds, of course...tossing my hat in the ring!

    carapacenator(at)gmail.com

    So glad I found this blog through Octoberfarm! You're buckets of fun!

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  10. Oh I adore spekulatius and look at you making your own traditions, I wont frown at you (my grandmother was German) I say we should all embrace the gilding.

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  11. What does one need to do to win these moulds? I want them.

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  12. If I use the word lovely in every sentence to describe these lovely moulds that no doubt make lovely cookies in the lovely German tradition because the Germans have always been such lovely people with lovely personalities........and lovely food is one of the things the Germs are known for...and I'm lovely.

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  13. These are so cute! I love them - especially that elephant - my sister is obsessed with them :)

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  14. I am always amazed at how much you get done in a day. WOW! Your creative intelligence is over the top GRAND! The fact that you would give these one-of-a-kind wooden molds that you picked out with loving care and used yourself speaks to your generous spirit and it resonates in all that you do. Happy Holidays!

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  15. I tried to find a spekulatius mold last year for Christmas, but to no avail. Obviously, I must travel to Germany and find the amazing booth full of them. (Seriously, that elephant one is worth the trip alone).

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  16. Clove, cinnamon, almonds... three of my favorite ingredients in baked goods! Drooling as I type...

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  17. I want these cool molds

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  18. OK, I'm so tempted to spam your comments to increase my chances. But I'll be good. I'm a recent convert to speculaas/spekulatius - my kids love the spread on toast but I'm addicted to the cookies, so I will most definitely make them if I win. And even if I don't. They just won't look as pretty. I love the fact, btw, that your recipe doesn't list 'speculaas spice mix' like so many do. Oh and your gilding - makes them all the more (wait for it) 'specul'. ;-)

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  19. And yes, that's how stupid I am. A whole year too late apparently. But why did Facebook just show me your post now? Now I'm condemned to trolling the Xmas markets in London when they open, in the hopes of getting lucky. Well, spiced wine, minced pies and tempting goodies-a-plenty - could be worse!

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  20. @Ruby - Not your fault. I am convinced FB is obsessed with this post. It keeps popping up for me as well. I might do this again this year if I get back to Germany in time to grab a few at the market.

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  21. These are adorable. I looove these cookies and def the elephant. My mom and I collect elephants-she just died in Feb of breast cancer. My great aunt used to buy me these cookies and when I got older I had to find them. I had to wait every year till they came to Aldi (the store I managed)-they are German company. Now, I live in S. Korea and I can't find these cookies nor molds!aaaarrrugh. Love to win them. Love your blog. Thanks. krisindaa@msn.com

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  22. I wish I had known about this mould when I was in Aachen in 1992. Such a pity.

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  23. OMG I made Springerle cookies for Christmas this year! We have wooden cookie molds, but none this big! My new husband gave me a wedding mold for Hanukkah, but it is not wood. I would love to win these! I just started collecting them!

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  24. The boughten ones taste pretty darn good too!

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Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!