I have been following Jennifer Bain’s Cookie Calendar Countdown to Christmas in the Toronto Star’s Living section throughout the month of December. Posting my adaptions, on Facebook, to make each cookie recipe dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free.
I have been eager to put one of her recipes to the test. I adapted her Speculaas recipe (click here for recipe)… Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas Cookies.
Speculaas cookies have always intrigued me…they are a traditional dutch cookie that are not too sweet and compliment a cup of tea or coffee with their touch of spicy simplicity.
Typically, a carved wooden mold was used to create images on the Speculaas such as a windmill. This is such a mold I picked up while travelling in Europe in my youth.
My mother and I set out in search of a similar mold. My mother suggested European Imports/The Dutch Market. Inside, the shop was filled with an assortment of Dutch products: baked goods, a deli, specialty food items, chocolates, tea towels, and wooden clogs. I couldn’t resist purchasing the beautiful windmill tea towel!
Alas, we did not find a windmill mold. So we improvised…and went to Michael’s…and purchased a fancy mold for stamping the Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas.
Although the stamp is not specifically made for pressing into sticky dough, it worked out pretty well. Make sure you keep flouring the stamp between pressings.
For my dairy free version, I replaced the butter with Earth Balance. For a soy free version, use Earth Balance’s Soy Free Vegan Spread. I omitted the ground cloves, nutmeg, mace (my kids prefer less spice) and almonds. If you like a spicier cookie, I would increase the ginger and cinnamon.
The dough was rather sticky. I thought I had made the cookies thin enough, however, I would have liked them thinner for a crispier cookie. My husband, on the other hand, loves softer cookies and felt these were perfect in texture and spice. I loved the touch of lemon!
Tip: Packaged up, Dairy,Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas make a great little something to give to family friends to thank them for all they do for, in my case, my mother.
When you live a distance from a loved one…nice to know there are people that you can count on to be there for the ones you love. Thank you.
P.S. The Cookie Calendar, Day 17 adapted version: Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies, will be posted on Friday.
Matthew’s verdict…tasty with crunch. Michael’s verdict… very good. My verdict…amazing…a minty, fudgey decadence!