After reading about these cookie molds in a recent Martha Stewart magazine, I was so captivated by their beauty and texture (and history) that I had to give it a try.
I bought the molds from House on the Hill. The really cool thing about these molds are that they are replicas of molds from as late as 500 years ago. They even leave in the 'imperfections' of the originals for a true copy.
The recipe I used was the one they supplied with the molds, although you can find many recipes online for Speculaas. Here is a nice informational about the history of Speculaas.
So last night I began baking, and had a blast. The aroma from the mingling of spices is truly intoxicating. I wish blogs had smellovision. Just imagine citrus, cocoa, cardamom (which is a party of aromas within itself. If you have never smelled this spice, I suggest you get to your grocers STAT), mace, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
Low light is my camera's handicap, so please forgive the poor quality photos:
The 3 molds I have. The house is my favorite.
A poinsettia cookie before baking:
MMMmmmmm! A tray of cooling speculaas!!
One very important thing I learned. See the cookie on the left? See how much clearer the imprint is? That is what happens if you put the molded cookies in the freezer for 20 minutes before putting them in the oven. A critical step, I'd say, and one I will be sure to do in the future.
Again, cookie on left was in the freezer before baking. Big difference, isn't it?
I love these houses. Have I mentioned that yet?
I sprinkled some sanding sugar on them. It gives a slightly sparkly effect, without being gritty.