Is it possible for a cookie to be seasonal? After making speculaas last weekend I'd be inclined to argue yes. When it's cold outside, you can't do much better than brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. There's something warming about all of those things, especially when baked into a sweet with an unpronouceable name (your best chance at getting it right is by trying to say it while eating one) and served with your hot beverage of choice.
The darkness comes from the brown sugar and spices (as much mixed spice as cinnamon) and is bolstered by rye flour and almond meal. This is a cookie for blissful hibernation. A winter warmer, designed for dunking.
Adapted from a recipe by Movida's Frank Camorra, as published in the Sydney Morning Herald
I successfully halved this recipe, but I might not next time. These are cookies I suspect keep really well, the sort that would be good to have on hand for unexpected guests or sugar cravings.
200g unsalted butter, softened
375g dark brown sugar
75g ground almonds (almond meal/flour)
100g cold water
100g rye flour
400g plain (all-purpose) flour
4 teaspoons ground mixed spice
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons bicarb (baking) soda
Beat the butter and sugar til smooth then stir in the almonds, water and rye flour. Add the plain flour, spices, salt and bicarb soda, mix to a smooth, pliable dough, then roll into a log, about 30cm long. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
Cut the log into three 10cm lengths and roll out each length into a large rectangle one centimetre thick. Cut into 3 x 2cm rectangles (each large rectangle should make about 12 cookies) and put on baking trays lined with non-stick paper. Use a fork to make grooves on two sides. Bake for about 15 minutes or until just starting to colour at the edges.