Category: Cookies & Candies
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp ammonium bicarbonate (AKA "hirschorn salzor") or baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of cardamom
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground white pepper (to taste, optional)
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp milk
In a large bowl, combine the flour, ammonium bicarbonate or baking soda, salt and the spices. (The white pepper adds a bit more "spicy tang" to the flavor but is not necessary) Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough paddle, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 3- 4 minutes on low speed, gradually add about half of the flour mixture. Stop mixer from time to time to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to incorporate the unmixed flour. Add the milk and remaining flour and mix until a dough begins to form. It will look crumbly. Remove bowl from the mixer and, with lightly floured hands, form a ball with the dough, then place on a lightly floured counter top and knead until soft and firm.
Cut the dough into 6- 8 pieces; wrap individually in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2- 3 days to allow the spice mixture to develop. When ready to mold the cookies, remove several pieces of dough from the refrigerator and allow them to soften a bit.
Lightly flour each cookie mold; turn over; and tap to remove excess flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough. Press dough firmly into the cavity of each mold. Cut away any excess dough from the borders, then turn over the mold and tap gently to release the unbaked dough. (If dough does not pull away easily from the mold, use the tip of a paring knife to release it.)
Put cookies on parchment-covered cookie sheet; bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15- 20 min. Remove cookies from cookie sheet; cool thoroughly. Store spekulatius between wax paper in covered tin containers.