Gevulde speculaas (soft, almond filled spiced biscuit)

A soft, spiced biscuit filled with almond paste. It's so good, I already took a bite out of it.

 

In the mood for comfort food? Let's go! This is my absolute seasonal favourite. Stop counting calories, it's December. What kind of monster are you? The Dutch get all their presents at the beginning of the month. The 5th of December is Sinterklaas Eve (yes, it's Santa. You're all just celebrating on the wrong day. Tsk!), filled with presents, hot chocolate, spiced biscuits in various shapes and sizes, and spijs-filled pastries. Remember spijs from the apple pie? We're going to add speculaas spices.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp speculaas spices
  • 150 gr dark brown or muscovado sugar
  • 150 gr butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 250 gr spijs
  • about 10 blanched almonds (or regular ones, if you're cheap like me)
  • 1 egg yolk

Method:

  1. If you did get the regular almonds, make sure you pour some boiling water over them first. Let them steep for a while so you can easily peel them. You may have to reheat them somewhere in between too. My kitchen gets cold in winter, and when I get busy with the dough, I forget to keep an eye on the almonds. Which in turn means my kitchen is nice and hot by the time I'm finished, because the oven will have heated the place while I peel all those almonds. Not very eco, I know...
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
  3. All right, let's do the real thing! Mix the flour with the spices, a pinch of salt, and the sugar in a bowl.
  4. Use two knives to cut in the butter.
  5. Then add the milk and work it all into a dough.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 parts. I usually make the top part a bit bigger. Roll them both out into the same shape, about 0.5 cm or 0.25 inch thick. Me, I stick to a rounded rectangle, but live a little: try a heart, or a stick.
  7. Spread the spijs out over the bottom part, but leave a cm or half an inch at the edge free.
  8. That's where you press down the top part. I usually use some of the egg white I had left over from the spijs to stick the two dough parts together.
  9. Go crazy on decorating that thing with those almonds! Or put them in unimaginary rows, like me.
  10. Brush with the rest of the egg, and ram it in the oven (slightly below the middle), because by now your nails hurt from peeling the almonds at the last minute and you just want to eat that thing. Too bad! You still have to wait 30-45 minutes. In my oven, it's 45.
  11. Let it cool on a flat surface and (finally!) dig in!

Now your stomach hurts, doesn't it... I should have told you to take a small piece, because it's quite heavy. Oh, yes, you know that now. Sorry...

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