Sunday, December 12, 2010

.♥♥♥SPECULOOS~~~a buttery spiced cookie~~~ & 2 HOLIDAY DRINKS @FFw DORIE.♥♥♥

I was more than excited the Speculoos made it to the december poll , coz i wanted to bake them for the holidays and i was sure going to bake them for hols.
And head on to FFwD to check all the goodies this week , if u already arent with FFwd, nows the time to join in.....
 I loved reading all about these well spiced Speculoos here ,Catalina sure has a wondeful write up about their story and history and i so wish i had baked these on 5th too!
Santa, im so late ,but will u please take my cookies too , or even better , have them along with me , will have some more for u along the way too:-)
These amazing buttery ,well spiced cookie originated somewhere in Belgium , and love that Dorie suggests all the spices , i added even more.
+cinnamon always rocks ...

Do u like my Christmas trees?
 if u said yes ,am sure u did, here are some more for u..
 and if u didn either , u can still have some...
Yeah i so , agree, everything about them smells Christmas + i always have Christmas carols in the kitchen.
and since i am dreaming of  a white Christmas u'll find a snow effect everywhere here.
And since the Real Meaning of CHristmas is the giving of love everyday, heart Linzers are so allowed.
My first choice sure is apricot preserve, but rasberry has the christmas color so a bit of water splashed , thickened in the micro and u have a great filling...and one ,only one of them , has nutella in between....lovely nutella goes so well with this cookie, infact u can dunk any cookie here in a jar of nutella before u dink it in ur coffee, ahh , ur coffee jus got better too!
and more pics will continue below.

On the day of mixing the dough , which i did 2 days earlier, first switch on the music in the kitchen , Mistletoe and Wine is a good option.♥♥♥

Holiday Drink 1
Then its time to fix us all a drink , an apple spiced Coffe choco drink , or is it Cinnamon choco Apple coffee , whatever u want to call it , its delicious and one of my favs , as well as first time.♥♥♥
 Spiced coz there are some spices in there from the Cookie Jar ,@ tsp spices , Oh so good!
Take a little of whatever combi and place in ur cup , with some instant expresso or brewed espresso , whatever the liquid should be real hot, coz i add in a caramel also there which need to melt!
And there is McStevens Spiced Apple cider and Caramel Apple cider , which u add in last , jus a bit for flavor!
And yeah Cinnamon Coco, a must , makes it a mocha cafe now , does it?
And a nice pretty curled cinnamon stick ....ahhh dont miss this important step coz with the music and the cookie dough going , it feels soo holiday and u need the drink so muc!
make a large cup and place on a warmer , so that it lasts u thru the dough making , which is fast , unless ur taking step by step pics, lods of each , to pick one decent one , then maybe u'll need some more !
Begin with 1 2/3rd cup flour , nice unbleached flour or All purpose flour, yes i was so waiting to use these cuteee measuring cups , arent they the cutest , i have to use them all month and some more coz then i have to wait a whole year {ok less} to get them out again!
 And add it in a bowl to whisk with the baking powder and spices , though i had a bit of change here , i added my spices to the butter and sugar , i like to believe it gets more intense that way , i hope its atleast a little true.
Yeah , i used a little of ALL these spices and then tightly re folded the little bags , coz i didn need a tsp even of each and these are really very strong and pure!!
And coz i can never resist good vanilla in went some Madagascar bourbon Vanilla too!
 Yeah thats me getting over excited {which is a good thing, i think:-)} ,over all the spices , zest and vanilla and rubbing them into the sugars.
 The spices and vanilla galore , rubbed well into the sugar.
The butter and sugars , ready to be beaten , and yeah i missed a step here , the one that calls for beating the butter till creamy for 2-3 mins , i happily combined the 2 , coz had alreay added the sugars when i realized!

After beating till nice and creamy , its time to add an egg, yeah the one thats missing from the  book but the little note helps u find the egg.
So i had my egg ready , so i dont miss it either:-))
And i had jus added a bit , coz was gng to add bit by bit , when i thought , lemme skip that and see what happens to the cookie.
So i didn add more egg , but i did add a bit , very very little , i thought that this cookie has to be fool proof even for those who miss the note ,and viola , it was a good cookie , the next time i bake it , i will bake it with the whole egg in and let u know ok.
It does get nice and creamy even with the little egg though!
Fold in the flour in three additions , beating lightly with each , i used a fork to fold it in , beat a little and add some more and went on.....
 to get this....crumbly  dough and oh so delicious!!!
And ur hands are the best thing , to mix in any unmixed flour......
 ...and bring the dough together.....
And i divided them into 4 and wrapped them in wrap , coz our weather could get pretty warm.
And i used flat tupperware to store it in , its the best.....{and yup i made a mistake here , which i realized 2 days later}
 WARNING-do not taste the dough at any point of time ,coz its way to delicious and u'll soon find urself nibbling into it all.
If u have any pet squirrels ,keep them away too , they arent supposed to eat sweets, unfortunately it aint good for them.
Now time to run the warm water and foam up a lather and do the pretty dishes!
2Days Later
Its the day am going to bake the cookies and as i read the recipe , after readying everythin , it hits me , i should had rolled the dough and then refrigerated it.

Ok ,cool . relax , i'll fimd my way around though it make take me a little longer , till then lets fix Holiday Drink No.2
is it creamy candy cane coco or snowy dreams candy cane coco???
This one is my new all time fav , and im quite addicted to this one this season , it the McStevens Candy Cane coco , with another of my new fav ,Kraft Marshmallow Fluff and some Snowy sprinkles and lastly a very special ingredient , jus added to my pantry.
Begin by adding enough Candy cane coco and Cinnamon Coco to ur fav holiday mug , or u can add any coco ,and some crushed candy cane and cinnamon too.
I have lods of ways to make my hot chocolate and this is one special one.
 As u prepare this ,heat water in the kettle/micro or pan , u can heat milk too , but i somehow prefer water in this one ,coz the fluff works better with the water one than the  milk one!!
Add hot water slowly ,stirring well.
And nows the time to add Marshmallow Fluff , real good fluff ,like snowy dreamz:-)
Use a cookie scoop , which i do , or a spoon {dip in hot water for easier handling}..3 to 4 scoops gives me a good layer...
See, a nice creamy layer with hot , lightly spiced hot chocolate below , dressed up with Sprinkles and Snow Sprinkles , which is like shiny sugar.
Ahh, and the last addition , crunchy coco nibs from Valrhona, oh so good!!
They soften jus a little , but still have the crunch and the bitter chocolate flavor does beautiful with the sweet hot chocolate , snowy hot chocolate.

And a close up ,jus for u...

By now my rolled discs have softened enough to roll them and as i roll each one , i place them in the freezer coz there is no way i could wait another 3hours for them now.

Here are the cookie cutters i used. Dip the cookie cutters,lightly in flour ,as u go , then transfer directly with the cutter to the baking tray.

And then take the rolled dough out , one sheet at a time and begin cutting out the cookies galore.
First tray ready to go in the oven.
I didn re roll the scraps , i took this cookie tray instead and press in all the scraps in:-)
And i think i did it to thick coz i got very crispy and very browned at the edges {which i love} and chewy in the centre {which i dont},cookies.
But the flavor was fantastic and i think it had also to do with my very slow , longer baking too!
Makes for a great dunking cookie ,if u ask me.
 And a few more cookies with the press plates.ok jus 3 cookies,one is a smiling snowman , one is Happ Christmas tree and a large snowflake.
And a little more scraps ,rolled into some nice brown spiced sugar , and formed flat rounds..
Like this...
That also left me with some nice spice sugar for the morning coffee.
My all time fav, little ginger bread girls , so sweet ,and i'll try my best to improve my deco the next time ok:-)
will u hang in there,till i do???
and a Ms.Little Snowgurl Ginger bread.
and little Mr.Snowman Gingerbread and Ginger breads out to woe the Ginger gurls:-)
all the shapes i baked in the cookie pan..
pretty snow around {not v good but maybe atleast a little pretty}
and the cookies with presses, cute no? the smiling snowman:-)
Recipe from Dorie's site here

Tips and notes from Mia.
  ~~~the cookie dough is soft to handle so i divided it into 4, and had absolutely no problem cutting them.
~~~what i did was freeze the 4 rolled sheets of dough , and take out one at a time , dip the cookie cutter in some flour , and cutting it throughly take it to the cookie sheet with the cutter , easy peasy and no hassle.
~~~i barely added any egg and they were good , must try them with a whole egg soon.
~~~The recipe calls for clove,cinnamon & all spice ,but i added all things nice with vanilla and they were so good.
~~~i baked them in a very slow oven for a longer time coz i simply loveee crunchy.
~~~2 round cookies were rolled in spiced brown sugar and i pressed in some chocolate chips in there later, fantastic !

makes about 70 cookies{ but i didn get 70 as i had different shapes and sizes.}
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 (packed) cup light brown sugar
Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together in a bowl.
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.  Add the sugars and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes.  ADD THE EGG AND CONTINUE TO BEAT UNTIL IT, TOO, IS BLENDED INTO THE BUTTER AND SUGARS.  With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until the flour disappears into the soft dough.  You may have some flour at the bottom of the bowl, or the dough may not be entirely smooth, but that’s normal.  Using your hands (always my first choice) or a spatula, reach into the bowl and knead or stir the dough 2 or 3 times, just enough to eliminate any dry spots. 
Divide the dough in half.  (The dough is very soft, even after you refrigerate it for several hours, so if your kitchen is hot, you might want to divide the dough into thirds – that way it won’t take you as long to cut out the cookies and the dough won’t soften as much.)  Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap until you have a circle that’s a scant ¼ inch thick.  As you’re rolling, turn the dough over a couple of times and pull away the paper or plastic, so you don’t end up rolling creases into the dough.  Put the rolled-out rounds of dough on a tray or cutting board and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozne, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.)
When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Have a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Choose a cookie cutter – I like to use a scalloped cutter that’s 1 1/4-inches in diameter – and remove 1 circle of dough from the refrigerator.  Peel off the top piece of wax paper or plastic and cut out as many cookies as you can from the dough, carefully lifting the cutouts onto the lined baking sheet.  Collect the scraps and set them aside to combine with the scraps from the second piece of dough.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and just slightly brown around the edges.  Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool.
Repeat with the second round of dough, making certain the baking sheet is cool before you put the cutouts on it.  To use the scraps, press them together, roll them into a circle, and chill them before cutting and baking.
Serving:  The cookies are just right with coffee, made for espresso and tea and really good nibbled as a snack.
Storing:  The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.  Kept in an airtight container, the cookies will be fine for a week or more.
am back with my smiley snowman...
And , i repeat, coz the real meaning of Christmas is the giving of love everyday , a little heart for u and me...
 and a little round up....a finale.....
I am sending both my holiday drinks to Ria for this months ''monthly mingle''.
 Ria is hosting the Monthly Mingle, the brainchild of the fabulous Meeta, right on her blog, during every body's most favourite month, December!
And since both the drinks are special December chocolate drinks , they fit in the theme,which is CHOCOLATE EXTRAVAGANZA.
Actually my 2 round cookies with the chocolate chips,and the sandwich linzer with nutella, qualify as well ,:-) to go to monthly mingle,dont they?

pssst psstt, these cookies taste even better the next day , so buttery and spicy too, sweet spicy or holiday spicy , so good with both the drinks above or ur fav!


  1. The way you decorated your speculoos is so cute! All the sprinkles! And, I like your drink that incorporated the caramels. =D

  2. wow looks perfect n yummy. gorgeous pics dear. keep it up

  3. Very cute ! I love speculoos :)

  4. @yummy C, thannxx sweets!!
    love caramel in everthing:-))

    @JAisy James, thannxxx a ton!

    @Grapefruit , thannk u and i do too!

  5. Wow, all this looks so great. Those plates are a party just themselves...I would love to go somewhere and eat something off of those, such fun. Love all your utensils and dishware, and those measuring cups are so cute!! Always fun coming to see all your things, the products and their packaging, and of course the food! Great job on the cookies, they look wonderful.

  6. @Kayte and its great when u pop over!
    U have the best things to say and love reading ur thoughts, yeah i love cute too and have jus begun a little collection!and love that u notice!
    I totally enjoy the step by step too:-)
    always happy to have u here!

  7. And Kayte, u can come over to enjoy on these plates!:-)
    Oh that would be wonderful!

  8. these are so incredibly festive and so beautifully decorated! I would almost feel bad eating them. But only almost because they seem too delicious NOT to eat!

  9. EVERYTHING you make looks sooooo beautiful, Mia! Your post oozes Christmas! Thank you for the recipe and the tips!

  10. @Tanna, awww, thankk u , ur always so kind:-)
    And ur welcome and happy holidays!

  11. @JO,ha ha, well almost but u know who's almost finished more than half with holiday drink 1 n 2.

  12. wow when i clicked on your site, i feel like stepping in to holiday land. mia you always brighten my day! it brings smiles and warms the heart... you have that gift!

  13. These are perfect and beautifully decorated, wish I could sample those great bake dear..

  14. Mia, your post is terrific! Your cookies came out great and I love all your holiday kitchen ware, especially those measuring cups! Way too cute!!

  15. Looks delicious cookies. I like your holiday measuring cups.Beautiful clicks as always. love the holiday mood.

  16. @Malou, i thought about ya today and there u are:-)
    I love to make ya smile , happy to have u over for the holidays, come over and have a cookie again and we will make some candy cane coco , for u and me.....

    @treat & trick , i would loveee that too , for u to have a biggg batch!

    @Steph, ur soooo kind :-) thannk u , and im in love with the cups too:-))

    @swathi , thannnk u:-)me too and yeah happy for the holidays!

  17. What a festive post. Everything looks wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  18. So So beautiful.I loove all your cutlery, your baking pans, your cookie cutters, your heart shaped bowl...your pictures are a treat to the eyes...Love everything in here from food to equipment!

  19. @mARY , thannnkkkkk u sweetest one!
    Love u over ,always!

    @Tanvi , ur always kind and sweet and am happy to meet u online too!thannxx a ton!
    He he he, i love them all too , bdw, its a heart shaped cup which doubles as a soup bowl yeah:-)

  20. Great job! I think your decorating looks great! And that hot chocolate! Yum! I've got to try it!

  21. @Julie, thannnnkk u !!
    The hot chocolate rocks , u must try it:-)

  22. fun idea to decorate the cookies. i think your the first to do that!

  23. @Frolicking Night Owl, thank u, dat was sweet!

  24. oh just too beautiful cookies to eat :)

  25. There is so much to love about this beautiful post, Mia! First I have to say your red and white plates are super adorable! Now for the food -- love it! The spice cookies look fantastic and that hot chocolate is calling my name. :) The pretty pink pearls on top are lovely!

  26. Very nice. I love all of the holiday themed dishes - it makes me want to nibble on a candy cane and scarf down a warm cup of chocolate.

  27. Great photos! You have so much lovely holiday-themed kitchenware.

  28. My god this is gorgeous! they are so pretty I almost wouldn't want to eat them!

    US Masala

  29. Mia-Wow, such a surprise with all your Christmas inspired themes. The speculoos turned out amazing, love all the cute Christmas cut out, and the ginger bread men/women. so bright, happy, and colorful.
    Also the cocoa is so yummy too!
    As always, you really shine, Mia!
    Hugs, to you!

  30. Your cookies are SO pretty, Mia! You're so clever at decorating - I just love seeing your creations. :-) And I like those cheery red and white plates too. They make me smile. :-)

  31. Everything looks so scrummy! What pretty cookies. Very festive.



  32. Jesus is the reason for othe season...Im glad you think so too!! I l-o-v-e your colorful, so fun and made me hungry for cookies and all the hot yummy fattening drinks!!! I want your dishes and all your cute cooking jealous!:)) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  33. You've done a great job with your festive blog. Your photos are outstanding and you have put lots of work into your cookies and also the previous link...your veges, etc are gorgeous. Fun blog...lots of happiness and loves comes through.

  34. I so love that you decorated the speculoos! They are so very beautiful. Such a festive post. I love it!

  35. @Ananda , thannnxx a ton!

    @Faith , oh u add sunshine to my day ,lods of it and lovee that!
    Love those plates too:-)
    Am so thrilled u love the cookies and the hot chocolate , love it too!

    @Cher , thannnk u ,am so glad u love them!
    Oh and i wanna join u in doing jus that!

    @onewetfoot ,aipi, thannnk u!

    @Elisabeth , ur words are kind and sweet and make me shine ,ahppy and gay!
    Thannk u for being here ,always!
    Always happy to hear ur thoughts!

  36. @Krista, thannxx babe!
    U flatter me and ur thoughts are always a joy to read!

    @Rosa, thannxx and yeah am still dreaming of a white christmas!

    @flourchild , yayay to that!!
    and thannnxx for the love and sweet kindness , lovee reading ur thoughts always!

    @Kris kitchen Thannxxx a ton lods, always happy to have u here and love reading ur thoughts!


and thanx a ton loads for hopping by....
Do leave ur blog link so i can visit u too....
And have a cheerfully rocking happy day♥Sparkling with the joys of SPRINGTIME and warmth of SUMMER..