Speculaas – Merry Christmas!

I’ve been suffering from the dreaded lurgy for the last week, so sadly haven’t been able to post any of the Christmas recipes I’d planned to over the last few days. I did manage to drag myself off my sick sofa for an hour or so today (and away from repeats of Nigellissima and Jamie’s Christmas…mmmm…) to make another batch of Speculaas however. Speculaas, or Speculoos, depending on where you’re from, is a traditional continental European Christmas biscuit. When I was younger my aunt and uncle lived in Holland and always brought all sorts of exotic festive goodies over for Christmas. Remember this was in the days before Aldi, Lidl and German Christmas markets up and down the UK so the sight of things like lebkuchen, gingerbread houses and speculaas was so foreign and exciting and just meant one thing – Christmas is here!

I found this recipe on BBC Food a few years ago and have made at least one batch every year since. They are really easy, keep brilliantly in the biscuit tin for ages (as if that’s really going to be a problem!) and most of all, they just smell and taste like Christmas!

It depends on what size of cutter you’re using, but this makes around 20. I have a snowflake and Christmas tree cutter from Munich Christmas market, suitably festive I think!

You’ll need;

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g muscovado sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped candied peel
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • flaked almonds

Mix together all the ingredients apart from the almonds and mixed peel. Once the mixture is beginning to come together, add in the peel, and continue to combine until it has formed a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until around 1/2 cm thick. Mmmm inhale that Christmas smell! Cut out and place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Decorate with the flaked almonds and bake at 180 degrees for around 10-12 minutes. The biscuits will still look quite soft and doughy at this point but don’t worry, they will harden up as they cool! Dust with a little icing sugar and that’s it, easy peasy! Perfect with a Baileys coffee! 😉






Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you all have a fantastically festive time 🙂

Christmas is coming…

The  nights are drawing in, twinkly lights and trees are cropping up in front room windows across the country and gluwein is being consumed in ever increasing quantities (at least in this house) yes, the festive season is upon us and somehow Christmas is just around the corner!

A few evenings ago we ‘festive-ised’ some of our lovely little Victorian fireplaces to get in the Christmas spirit. Cue lots of twinkly fairy lights and candles! And some ‘helpful’ cats!



All that decorating was of course hungry work, fueled by those classic Christmas snacks – gluwein, twiglets and dark chocolate covered lebkuchen!


With the house looking festive and sparkly, it would have been rude not to invite some friends round for an evening of Christmas-themed food and drink! Mulled wine, mulled cider and winter pimms were accompanied by lots of goodies! One of my friends brought this awesome cranberry and walnut ‘festive bark’ – extra chocolately! Check the festive gold stars!


I made some mince pies and speculaas – a Christmas spiced German biscuit. Yum!  Unfortunately I was a bit rubbish with the camera (a bit busy with all that important alcohol mulling! 😉 ) so have no pictures of the mince pies, but here is one from last Christmas! (it’s been my trusty recipe for many a year now!)

mince pie

The speculaas fared slightly better, I do have a picture, but not quite of the end product! Here are some on the cooling rack, yet to receive their magic icing sugar dusting!


I will post the recipes for these another day, right now I’m still recovering from last night’s over-indulgence in all these goodies and an early night is calling with a work Christmas party tomorrow! Hope you’re all having a good festive season too!