500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour, sieved
2 tsp baking powder
220 gm butter, softened
250 gm dark brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
8 green cardamom pods
5 star anise
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 piece of mace
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
Makes about 40 biscuits.
Australian Gourmet Traveller
December 2009, p.38
For speculaas spice, finely grind cardamom, cloves, star anise, peppercorns and mace in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
Transfer to a large bowl, add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, stir, add to flour and baking powder, and set aside.
Beat butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until creamy (3-4 minutes).
Add milk, beat to combine, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Form mixture into a dough with your hands on a work surface (add extra milk if mixture is too dry), shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to rest (8 hours-overnight).
Preheat oven to 170C.
Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, then refrigerate until firm (30 minutes).
Cut into desired shapes (see note) and place on trays lined with baking paper.
Re-roll scraps and repeat.
Chill until firm (20 minutes), then bake in batches until light brown and crisp (10-12 minutes).
Cool for 5 minutes on trays, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
Speculaas will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 1 week.