Speculaas

1 cup unsalted butter; softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a large mixing bowl combine butter and vanilla with both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs and blend well. Sift the flour and all remaining dry ingredients together and beat into the butter mixture. Mix in the sliced almonds by hand, so as not to crush them. Divide the dough into four equal portions and chill overnight. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Roll the cooled dough out into 1/4-inch thick portions and cut with cookie cutters or shape with a special Speculaas mold or other cookie mold or stamp. Bake for 10-15 minutes and store in an airtight container.

Note: This classic Dutch recipe is also known as St. Nicholas Cookies, or in northern Germany, Spekulatius.

Servings: 36
Country of Origin: Holland

For more great recipes like this one, be sure to visit http://www.christmas-cookies.com