Sunday, June 3, 2012
Like Oreos, I believe those Lotus brand cookies in their signature red packaging receive as much worship and adoration. Like Oreos, there are bound to be some people who feel guilty purchasing a mass produced product instead of baking the cookies from scratch. Unlike Oreos though, biscoff cookies are not as easily recreated in your own kitchen, or at least that is what I think. There are also significantly less copycat recipes of it spawned. I wonder why.
If I had to take my pick, I would probably pick the biscoff cookies over Oreos. By the way, does anyone else find the individual packaging annoying? Think of the pile of wrappers you accumulate everytime you want to satisfy your cookie craving.
Anyway, I was just browsing through my Baked Explorations cookbook the other day a little more carefully than usual and I realized that the weird-sounding cookie recipe, Speculaas, was actually sort of a riff on the biscoff cookies. Of course, I had to try it out.
I would say that these are not that close to the original. The dark brown sugar contributed too much of a molasses flavour. You can also tell from the colour of this batch that it probably wouldn't taste like the store-bought version. I would suggest subbing half the dark brown sugar for regular brown sugar or light brown sugar. Plus, I felt that Baked's version is spicier than the original.
But I wouldn't be so quick as to write off this recipe. These cookies had about the same degree of crunch as the supermarket ones, that is to say not too crunchy and crisp, and also not just barely so. Of course, baking times definitely come into play here but I also attribute the perfect crunchiness to the appropriate use of baking soda. With just a little tweaking, you just may duplicate those biscoff cookies in your home's kitchen.
recipe adapted from Baked
The recipe said that this would yield 24 2-inch round cookies but I got about 76 instead. Also, I feel that for a more authentic biscoff cookie, you should try using a 50-50 mix of dark brown sugar and light brown sugar instead because I felt that the dark brown sugar was a little overpowering.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest (I omitted)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the beaten egg and orange zest and cut the mixture again until just combined. Knead the dough lightly until it forms a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Unwrap and divide the chilled dough into two equal portions. Place one portion in the fridge while working on the other. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick round, flouring if necessary. Using a cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies and transfer them to prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch space around them. (Instead of all the rolling and stamping, I formed the dough into a log and sliced and baked it instead.)
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with coarse sugar. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time. (Mine took 10 minutes only.) Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Speculaas can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.