This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, the Potato Chip Tortilla, is one that I actually did a couple of weeks ago for “Cook’s Choice”. This simple little tortilla was quick and tasty and I am looking forward to finding out how my fellow FFwD cooks liked it. In the meantime I am catching up with a recipe which the rest of the group did last December, Speculoos (called Spekulatius here in Germany).
Speculoos or Spekulatius cookies are best described as cinnamon snaps, because they are similar to a ginger snap cookie, but with cinnamon as the primary spice. And, as I discovered earlier in the year when I tried to find some for the Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken recipe, spekulatius cookies are only available around Christmas time in Germany. So what better time of year to try my hand at homemade cookies? And, since it Tis the Season after all, why limit myself to just one cookie?
I LOVE baking Christmas cookies. My family in the US always turns cookie baking into an event and I’m always sad to miss it those years when we can’t make it home for the holidays. Last year when I was in the US, we all met up at my aunt’s house and spent the afternoon mixing dough and baking batch after batch of cookies. My aunts bumped into one other in the kitchen as they competed to see whose cookies would win the most accolades. We cousins assured our aunts that ALL of their cookies were equally wonderful, and then whispered to our respective mothers that THEIR cookies were of course actually the best. The kids sat around the dining room table with overflowing bowls of colored frosting, decorating cookies and taste testing the results. Each year old favorites are mixed in with new experiments. Each year it’s one of my favorite days of the season.
This year we are celebrating the holidays in Germany and that means that I am the primary cookie baker. So this past weekend my husband and I went to pick out a tree, invited over some friends to share the calories, and got to work in the kitchen. I chose Dorie’s Speculoos (recipe posted by Dorie on her website) and, one of my old favorites, Snickerdoodles. My husband picked two from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book, Chocolate Crackles and Brown Butter Toffee Blondies.
For the speculoos cookies, I rolled them out to about a quarter-inch, and then shaved a minute off the baking time to ensure that I got chewy instead of crispy cookies. I know this isn’t how they are intended, but what can I say, in the great chewy versus crispy cookie debate, I have always fallen squarely into the chewy camp. I found the dough very easy to work with and my cookies held their shape pretty well in the oven. And, while all of our cookies were delicious, we agreed that the speculoos were the most Christmasy of the bunch. Partly because I used my Christmas cookie cutters, but also because of the lovely spice aroma which permeated our apartment while they were baking. Another winning recipe from Dorie!