It is thought that the Dutch name Speculaas comes from the latin 'speculum' that means mirror.
Traditionally speculaas biscuits are the mirror image of the carved wooden moulds they are baked in.
Windmill shaped speculaas biscuits are known throughout the whole world, as are male or female speculaas figurines.
These days speculaas biscuits can take any shape or form. But you can do so much more with speculaas spice than just making biscuits.
Find out more about the delicious dishes you can make using vandotsch speculaas spice mix.
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Miranda Gore Browne achieved widespread acclaim in late 2010 as a finalist on the first series of BBC2's The Great British Bake Off. She was highly praised for her home baking, which was described consistently as both delicious and beautiful. Mary Berry remarked that Miranda reminded her of herself when she was younger. Miranda made a great impression with her “signature bake” biscuits in the form of perfectly dainty decorated shoes, pretty dresses and stylish handbags. Miranda also featured in BBC2’s The Great British Wedding Cake.
Miranda’s passion for cooking and baking started when she found Peter Rabbit’s Cookery Book in her stocking when she was about six. Miranda’s cookery ‘coming of age’ came at Christmas 1989. With Delia holding her hand, she perfected choux pastry, chocolate mousse, tarts and bread - always quick to add her own twists and variations as she worked her way through her (Delia Smith’s) Complete Cookery Course. In the decades since then, Miranda has taught herself from studying the books and trying the recipes of the great master cooks and bakers.
Miranda spent a successful career immersed in Foods at Marks & Spencer, where she gained a wide base of knowledge and expertise in the food industry. She has established a reputation for wonderful home baking. Her blog of recipes and baking ideas has attracted a keen following.
Since the Great British Bake Off, Miranda has written two essential baking recipe books, including ‘Biscuit' (published by Ebury Spring 2012) featuring recipes for a tempting variety of biscuits. Her most recent book: ‘Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can' was published in August 2014 and was named Telegraph cookbook of the week.
Miranda has kindly given her permission to us to re-publish two of her recipes that are appropriate to make with vandotsch speculaas spice, including: speculoos Autumn leaf biscuits and speculaas chocolate cake.
Speculoos Autumn leaf shaped biscuits
Makes approximately 30 biscuits (depending on cookie cutter)
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 260 g plain ﬂour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15g (3 teaspoons) vandotsch speculaas spice mix
- Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg at a fast speed until well combined.
- Combine the ﬂour, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl, then sift them onto the egg mixture and stir until a dough forms.
- Squash the dough into two ﬂat discs, wrap tightly in cling ﬁlm and chill for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Mark 4 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Dust a work surface and rolling pin with ﬂour and roll out the dough to a thickness of 2–3 mm.
- Using your chosen cutters, stamp out shapes and use a palette knife to transfer them carefully to the prepared baking trays.
Tip: Recombine the offcuts of dough, then chill a little before rolling out again and stamping out more shapes.
- Bake the biscuits for 8–10 minutes, or until the edges start to darken.
- When the biscuits come out of the oven (and is still piping hot), use a wooden skewer or a straw to make a hole in the top of each biscuit.
- Set aside to cool on their trays. The biscuits will harden in about 20 minutes
- When the biscuits are cool and hard, thread a thin ribbon through each biscuit. They look beautiful simply hung on the Christmas tree as they are, but can also be decorated with icing sugar
- Put blobs of white icing on the boughs to make lights or wiggles of icing to suggest tinsel and then sprinkle on edible glitter or Christmas sprinkles.
How to make Miranda Gore Browne speculoos biscuits
"What could be simpler than adding a few teaspoons of vandotsch speculaas spice, perfectly blended to create a heavenly warm Speculaas taste."
"I love using it in my recipe for Speculoos biscuits - it truly is the perfect blend."
Miranda Gore Browne
"Miranda is the iced biscuit queen."