Posted by: edibleplanet | November 30, 2009

Spicy Christmassy biscuits… or for all year round.

Well we’re coming up to SinterKlaas, or Saint Nicholas day. On the eve of his day, Dutch and Flemish children put out shoes next to the fire in the hope that Sinter Klaas will leave them lollies and presents. One of the traditional treats left behind is speculaas. Saint Nicholas is who Santa Claus is based on, and it appears he was quite a top bloke. Not so “Commercial Christmas” afterall. Anyway back to food.
Our neighbour is Dutch, so each year we’ve attempted to make speculaas, and we take them over to him on December 5th. I have used internet recipes and they are just not spicy enough. Last year, Karl used a basic biscuit recipe and made his own spice mix; cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, allspice – the secret seems to be cardamom. This made all the difference to making a tasty biscuit.
I have always loved proper German gingerbread with its yummy spiciness and soft texture. We have German pfeffernuse biscuits in the shop, which the closest I’ve found. I hadn’t thought of making my own before, but now I’ve worked out they add more spices to make them yummy – I think I will give it ago.
Then, through the wonders of Facebook. I found out about Basler Leckerli – a Swiss spicy biscuit. I quartered this recipe. They are delicious – I reckon they would be good for Christmas Eve. I didn’t have Kirsch at the time so I used rum, which worked a treat.
Now I have found out the Hungarians have a similar style of biscuit.
Now I have so many recipes to choose from. Great with coffee too.



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