Friday, November 16, 2007

Baking for the Sint

Tomorrow will be a big day for Kirstie, and yes, I admit, for me as well. Right about now, Sinterklaas is on his way to The Netherlands. He left Spain on Thursday and will be welcomed at the harbor tomorrow by thousands of cheering kiddies. To get into the spirit, Kirstie asked me to help her bake some speculaas from a recipe she found in one of her Sinterklaas books. We read the recipe together, I set out the ingredients and helped her with the oven and that was it! I think she did an excellent job! So, tomorrow we'll be all ready for the big arrival, with a bag full of cookies, to keep us warm of course.

Here's the recipe:

Speculaas (Dutch Spice Cookies)
*200g butter, softened

*250g brown sugar

*2 tsps speculaas spices (these are usually only available in The Netherlands but you can make your own by mixing 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp mace, 3 tsps cinnamon and a pinch of pepper)
A1 tsp nutmeg
*2 eggs
*500g flour

*1 tsp baking powder

Put the butter in a bowl and cream it with the sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the spices and sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Knead everything with your hands and form into a ball. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove dough from fridge 1.5 hours before using it. Preheat oven to 175C. Roll out the dough and cut out shapes. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.