Spiced Star Cookies (Speculaas)
Makes 4 dozen small cookies. Recipe is from King Arthur Flour, which says Speculaas are “traditionally thin, crisp ... cookies that originated in the Netherlands.”
For the cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground mace or 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
11/2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour or toasted almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 to 4 tbls. milk
For the icing:
1/2 cup confectioners’ or glazing sugar
3 to 4 tsps. milk or water
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, spices and salt. Stir in the flour, almond flour and baking powder, then enough of the milk to make a stiff dough.
2. Form the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment two baking sheets.
4. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough 1⁄8-inch to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes and transfer the cookies to the prepared pans.
5. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until they’re lightly browned around the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. As they cool, they’ll become quite hard.
6. To make the icing, stir together the sugar and enough milk or water to create a thick but drizzleable icing. Drizzle the icing along the cookies.