Speculoos de Noël
My Maman’s family comes from Holland. We kept a few culinary traditions from our country of origin, like Christmas speculoos (a shortbread biscuit with warming spices ie: cinnamon, coriander, clove, ginger, allspice, cardamom and nutmeg). The family recipe contains butter, white wheat flour (hence gluten) and refined sugar, as well as eggs. I created a recipe that preserves the flavour and texture of the traditional cookies, without the heaviness of the combination of eggs + sugar + flour. Bake, share, and enjoy!
Makes 40 small pieces
1 1/2 cup of almond meal
2 Tbsp. cup of flaxseed meal + 1/3 cup of warm water (makes binding agent)
½ cup of tahini
¼ cup of Speculoos spice (if you are in Australia, I recommend the blend from Gewürzhaus, if not found, mix the spices as described in the introduction)
2/3 cup of coconut sugar
½ tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
1 pinch of good quality salt
½ cup of gluten free flour (used to prevent stickiness of dough when cutting pieces)
Warm up your oven to 180℃.
In a bowl, start mixing the dry ingredients: almond meal, baking powder, spices, coconut sugar and salt. Meanwhile prepare the vegan egg - or binding agent - by adding warm water to the flaxseed meal (it will thicken and form a sticky consistency).
Add vanilla essence and tahini, mix well. Add vegan egg and combine using your hands until you get a thick dough. Try not to massage the dough too much or it will start to get gooey and sticky. Make a ball and let it set in the fridge for 3-12hrs so the flavours of the spices can develop.
On a clean bench, spread gluten free flour thinly (I use Amaranth flour, use what you have at home, perhaps rice or coconut flour). Spread the dough with a baking roller – aim for no more than half a centimetre thick. Cut the dough with the cookie cutters of your choice. Place them on a tray covered with baking paper.
Cook for 5 min (7 min if thicker cookies). Let the cookies rest aside to cool down. The cookies should be a crunchy outside but remain soft on the inside.
Using a baking brush, spread an extra thin layer of coconut oil over the cookies to give them a shiny look.
For a variation: dip half of cookies in melted chocolate. Let them rest on a tray for the chocolate to set.