Dutch Windmill Cookies: St. Nicholas Treats
When I was a little girl my mother would always buy a bag of mixed cookies when she did her grocery shopping. Her favourites were these flat spiced cookies in the shape of a windmill. I always just thought they were some kind of ginger snap, but they are actually a Dutch cookie called Speculaas .
The name probably comes from the wooden molds used to shape the cookies. Each cookie is the mirror image of the mold; the Latin speculum means “mirror.”
The cookies are thin and crisp, and don't rise much during baking. They are flavoured with a mixture of spices that includes cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, and cardamom. Some recipes also include anise seeds.
Speculaas cookies come in a lot of different shapes, but windmill is one of the best known. These cookies are a traditional treat for Saint Nicholas Day, celebrated December 6th. Versions of the cookie are also made in parts of Germany and in Belgium.
Image credit: Windmill-shaped Speculaas by Max Straeten, MorgueFile
Note: This article has been moved here by the author from Bubblews, where it was initially published
Image Credit » http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/788785