For the dough:
140g icing sugar
75g ground almonds
5 tsp spekulatius spice mix (see below)
a pinch of salt
For the spekulatius spice mix (makes 10 tsp):
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground aniseed
¾ tsp ground white pepper
¾ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
At least 250g icing sugar
At least 5 tbsp egg nog
Makes approx. 80 cookies (depending on size) – Takes some time + overnight drying – Oven: 10mins per batch
Start by making the spekulatius spice by mixing all the spices in a little jar.
Cut the butter into cubes and put in a mixing bowl together with the icing sugar and mix.
Add the egg and mix again.
In a separate bowl, mix the almonds, flour, 5 tsp of spekulatius spice and salt, then add to the butter and beat into a smooth dough.
Flatten the dough into two discs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 170°C fan.
Roll out the chilled dough on a surface dusted with flour.
Cut out cookies with shaped cookie cutters and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Punch little holes into the top of the cookies with a chopstick.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until browned at the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Once cool, decorate the cookies. For the icing, distribute some icing sugar between a few bowls and mix with some egg nog – using a ratio of approximately 50g icing sugar to 1 tbsp egg nog. Add a few drops of food colouring for coloured icing. Add more icing sugar if the icing is too runny or add more egg nog if it’s too stiff.
Decorate the cookies with the icing – painting them with little pastry brushes or piping the icing with the help of piping bags with a small hole cut off at the tip. Add your sprinkles while the icing is still wet.
Leave the icing to set overnight.
The next day, slide pieces of string through the cookie holes, and tie with a knot.
Hang on the Christmas tree as decoration.