Autumn is here in full force in the Netherlands! This is my absolute favourite time of the year: that small window of the year when the leaves turn yellow and red and everything looks like something out of a storybook. I love it so much and it’s definitely something that’s bringing me a lot of joy this year. It’s hard to not feel overwhelmed from time to time what with everything that’s going on, so I’m trying to pay extra attention to the little things – which is always a good idea, but especially now.
There are a few things that are quintessentially autumn to me, and one of those things is speculaas. I never really know how well-known this flavour is outside of the Netherlands (and Belgium), but speculaas is a typically Dutch cookie that is very popular over here. It’s made with a bunch of different spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves) and it’s just so wonderfully autumnal! I decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies with a whole bunch speculaas spices thrown in, and they came out absolutely delicious. Here’s the recipe!
You’ll need… (for about 20 cookies)
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 160 g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla flavouring/essence
- 220 g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- a pinch of salt
- 6 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 120 g dark chocolate chips
- parchment paper
- baking tray
- and an oven of course! These cookies need to be baked at 180 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
Tip! If you live in the Netherlands you can make things a little easier for yourself by using “Speculaas en Koekkruiden” (available at the supermarket) instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. If you choose to do this you’ll need 1 tablespoon of the “Speculaas en Koekkruiden” to replace the other spices.
So, let’s get baking!
1. Mix butter and sugar Put the softened butter and the light brown sugar in a bowl and mix them together until you’ve got a nice creamy consistency. I used a wooden spoon, which worked perfectly for the entire recipe, but you can also use a hand or stand mixer with dough hooks.
2. Add egg and vanilla flavouring Once the butter and sugar are nicely mixed together, add your egg and the 1½ teaspoon of vanilla flavouring to the mixture and mix together again.
3. Add baking soda, cornstarch, salt, spices and flour Time to add the dry ingredients. Firstly, add the baking soda, the cornstarch, the salt, as well as the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and mix them all through. Then, sieve the flour about the bowl (preferably in parts) and mix all of it through. You’ll have a nice, solid dough at this point
4. Add the dark chocolate chips Add the chocolate chips to your dough and mix them through.
5. Let the dough rest in the fridge Now, this is going to take some time, because if you want the best flavour for your cookie, it’s best to let the dough rest for at least 5 hours (I usually make the dough in the evening and then bake the cookies the next morning). I just put the entire ball of dough in the fridge in a bowl wrapped with cling film. However, that made it quite hard to separate little balls of dough the next day, so if you’ve got enough room in your fridge I recommend already forming little balls, putting them on a tray or a plate and then putting them in your fridge (covered with cling film of course).
6. Divide dough in balls over baking tray Line your baking tray with parchment paper, and then transfer the dough in little balls to the baking tray. Gently press them down a bit, so they are not entirely round. Leave enough room between the clumps of dough, because they will spread out quite a bit. I only put six clumps of dough on my baking tray at a time.
7. Bake! Put your baking tray into the oven and bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes at 180 °C. You know cookies are done when they start to turn golden brown around the edges. Also remember that cookies always toughen up when they’re cooling down. Take the tray out of the oven and let the cookies cool on the tray for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack (or a plate).
And that’s it! You’ve got your own, very autumnal, spiced chocolate chip cookies! Enjoy!