Speculaas (or Biscoff) Cookies

Speculaas cookies, otherwise known as Biscoff cookies, are all the rage right now.  You can find recipes all over the web using them (or the spread made from them) as an ingredient in a number of delicious dishes.  But what about recipes for the actual cookie?  Those are a little harder to come by.  And believe me, I have a recipe for the cookie that will keep you eating and eating and eating.


If you like gingersnaps, you'll love these speculaas cookies.  They are the Dutch equivalent of the American gingersnap, but with more spices.  Traditionally, speculaas cookies are made by pressing the dough into a mold and then baking.  There are also springerle rolling pins with a design carved into them, so as you roll it over the dough, a design is imprinted onto the cookies.  But if you don't have a mold or a springerle rolling pin (I don't), it's just as fine to use a regular rolling pin and cookie cutters or to just cut them into rectangles with a sharp knife.

If you want to try a new cookie this holiday season, try these.  You won't be disappointed.  And neither will your neighbors if you decide to share.  And while they're baking, your house will surely smell like Christmas.

Speculaas

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 T white granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Cream butter and dry ingredients together on medium speed until the batter is uniform in color. Scrape down the sides with a large spatula and add the vanilla extract and egg and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides again and add the flour. Beat on medium speed until incorporated.

If you using the springerle rolling pin, roll the dough out until 1/2 inch thick with a plain rolling pin. Liberally dust the springerle pin with flour then roll over the dough, pressing firmly to make a 1/4 inch thick cookie dough, with imprint. Cut the dough along the springerle grid lines with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and place on the baking sheet. If using a traditional speculaas cookie mold, roll the dough until 1/2 thick with a plain rolling pin. Lightly spray the mold with cooking oil, then liberally dust with all purpose flour (knocking out any loose flour once you’ve dusted it). Press the dough into the mold, remove excess dough of the back of the mold and then carefully unmold it onto the baking sheet. If using a cookie cutter, roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick with a plain rolling pin and cut out cookies and place on the baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before the time is up, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Bake the cookies in the oven 9-11 minutes or until the cookies look golden brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving the cookies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. The cookies will harden as they cool.

Recipe from Eat The Love.


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Pecan Pie with a Whole Wheat Crust

Pecans are my favorite nut.  Put them in a pie and the whole world gets better.  Put them in a pie with a whole wheat crust and it gets even better.


This pie is commonly associated with the American South, where it is very popular, especially during the winter holidays.

The origins of pecan pie are murky. Some people claim that this pie originated in New Orleans, where it continues to be very popular, while others have suggested that it may be more generally from the South.  Wherever it came from, it is enjoyed all over and the best pecan pie can be made with the best pecans from our store.

Pecan Pie with a Whole Wheat Crust

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, rounded
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, rounded
  • 1 cup shortening, level
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For the Filling:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups dark corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves, plus more for garnishing the top if desired

Directions:

For the Crust:

  1. Mix together flours, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add water. If slightly sticky, press palm of hand in plate of flour and pat dough ball.
  2. Roll out on lightly floured surface. Put in pie plate and trim edges.

For the Filling: 

  1. Whisk the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and melted butter together until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  2. Stir in the pecans.
  3. Bake for 40 -50 minutes at 375 degrees F (325 F for glass bake-ware) or until the center is set and jiggles slightly. Cool completely before serving.



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Whole Wheat Honey-Oat Butterhorns

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means rolls.  Sometimes I like to stray from the traditional and make something just a little bit different.  This year it's Whole Wheat Honey-Oat Butterhorns.  They look impressive and they taste impressive.  But they're very simple to make.


Are you familiar with the bottoms of your rolls sweating in the pan unless you move them to a cooling rack almost immediately?  We have a special perforated baking sheet that solves that problem.  It's looks like a normal half-size baking sheet, but it has small holes all over the bottom.  Not only does this allow you to keep your rolls on the pan to cool without them sweating, but it also promotes air flow underneath while baking.  This creates more even baking.


Whole Wheat Honey-Oat Butterhorns


*These ingredients can be found in our store.

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix flours, oats, yeast, vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer, and salt. Add remaining ingredients. Add enough remaining whole wheat flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).  Knead until gluten is developed (6-8 minutes).
  2. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.   
  3. Punch down dough; divide in two.  Roll one half of the dough with a rolling pin into a circle about 1/8" thick.  Cut into 8 wedges.  Roll each wedge starting with the wide end and ending with the pointy end. 
  4. Place on a baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. 
  6. Brush melted butter over rolls.



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Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

Popcorn balls are an old-timey Halloween tradition.  I'm ashamed to admit, while I've always known what they are and that they are associated with Halloween, that I've never eaten one...until now.


Why I never made them until now is forever a mystery, but rest assured that they will now be a Halloween tradition for me and my family.

These are just shaped like pumpkins, not pumpkin flavored.  I thought it would be fun to add some festive appearance to them because that's what I do.  But you don't have to if you don't want to.  You can certainly leave them white; they'll taste just as delicious.

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 10 oz pkg. miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Green candies for stems (optional)
  • Orange food coloring (optional)
  • 3 quarts popped popcorn

  1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot over low heat.  Add marshmallows and brown sugar and stir until melted.  Add orange food coloring if desired.  Remove from heat
  2. Pour popcorn into pot; toss well.  With buttered hands, shape into 2 1/2 inch balls.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet to cool.  Before completely cool, push green candies in the tops to create a stem.

*Recipe from Martha Stewart

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Pumpkin Spice Fudge

Remember those amazing pumpkin spice truffles a few weeks ago?  This fudge is just as amazing.  It's a pumpkin pie in fudge form.


We at Kitchen Kneads love making candy and candy season is upon us, so we're getting a jump start on it now.  Make this fudge for your next Halloween party and don't skimp on the pecans.  Our pecans are the freshest you'll find and as such, they have a much better flavor than any others.

Pumpkin Spice Fudge



*These ingredients can be found in our store.

  1. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  
  2. Combine the first 9 ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugars dissolve, then continue cooking until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly.  
  3. Boil 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the white chips until they are all melted and mixture is smooth. 
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well. 
  6. Pour into prepared pan, and cool to room temperature. 
  7. Cut into squares  

Recipe adapted from Aunt Peg's Recipe Box.

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Spooky Ghost Brownies (made with barley flour)

It's time to get festive with some spooky ghost brownies.  These are very simple to make and add a nice spooky flare to your Halloween party.


The brownies are made using agave and barley flour.  The barley flour adds a nice nutty flavor, perfect for the season.  Don't forget that whole wheat flour is not the only whole grain flour out there.  There are so many more that lend different flavors and textures to your baked goods.  So don't be afraid to experiment with barley, oat, rye, quinoa, and spelt, among many others.

Spooky Ghost Brownies

  • 1 cup agave*
  • 1/2 cup oil*
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 T cocoa powder*
  • 1 tsp vanilla*
  • 3/4 cup barley flour*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder*
  • marshmallows
  • white chocolate*
  • mini chocolate chips*
  • regular size chocolate chips*

*These ingredients can be found in our store.

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Spray an 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray. 
  2. Mix agave, oil, eggs, cocoa,and vanilla together until blended. Sir in barley flour and baking powder.  
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.
  5. Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals.
  6. Place a marshmallow on top of each brownie square.
  7. With a spoon, pour white chocolate on top of each marshmallow and allow to drip down the sides, covering the marshmallow.
  8. When the chocolate is mostly set, but still soft to the  touch, stick two mini chocolate chips and one regular size chocolate chips on to form a ghost face.

Brownie recipe from Attracting Wellness.

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Apple Bread

Fall is here and that means fall flavors.  Apple, pumpkin, caramel, cinnamon...among others.  Today we bring you apple bread.  It's like banana bread, but made with apples instead and spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg.


Apple Bread

  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded apples
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

 Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup oat bran

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans
  3. In a large bowl, mix sour cream, sugar, applesauce, eggs, spices, and apples
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the baking soda
  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir just until moist
  6. Divide evenly between the two pans
  7. Sprinkle with the sugar/oat mixture
  8. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean


 Recipe slightly adapted from thefrugalgirls.com.

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