1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 packet vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tsp speculoos spice mix*
50g ground almonds
100g cold butter
80g candied orange peel
2 tbsp water
For the icing:
150g icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
50g candied orange peel
Makes about 100 little stars or 50 big ones
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, vanilla sugar, speculoos spice mix and the almonds into a large bowl and mix. Cut the butter into little cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Rub between your hands until the dough resembles breadcrumbs. Finely chop the candied orange peel and add to the dough. Add the egg and the water, mix in with a spoon, then knead with your hands into a dough.
Form the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough us chilled, preheat the oven to 180°C. Dust your work surface with flour. Cut the dough in half, wrap one half back in the clingfilm and put back in the fridge. Roll out the other half of the dough into a disk, to the thickness of a pound coin.
Cut out little stars and put onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake the cookies in the hot oven for 8-10 minutes. Put onto a cookie-wire to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Once the cookies are chilled, prepare the icing. Put the icing sugar into a bowl, add the lemon juice and stir until you get a smooth icing. Finely chop the candied orange peel. Put a bit of icing onto a cookie, followed by a sprinkling of candied orange peel. Repeat with the remaining cookies and leave the icing to dry for at least 30 minutes.
These cookies will keep in a tin for 2 weeks.
TIP: In Germany and Luxembourg you can easily find “Spekulatius Gewürzmischung” (speculoos spice mix) in the supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of this spice mix, you can make it yourself:
7g powdered cinnamon
1g powdered cloves
1g powdered nutmeg
1g ground ginger
a pinch of powdered cardamom
a pinch of white ground pepper
they look so festive!