Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Cookie Week - Speculoos & Sable Bretons

This week Nana tried her hand at Dorie's Speculoos
and the entire family enjoyed this very holiday appropriate recipe. 

One of the most fun parts of the experience was that
Tricia jogged her memory and searched her cupboards
for the "leftover" little packaged cookies that she and Nana
 kept receiving at the Paris cafes this Spring. 
Ah, memories.....

And guess what they are called :) 

Who knew ?? 
Tricia originally brought them home for her hubby
and sons to enjoy (since she was eating all the fresh...non packaged....baked goods while in Paris). 

The kids were none too excited, so the cookies
 got stashed with the Laduree jam and
 other not too perishable "precious" items
 to be enjoyed at a later date.

By someone who gets excited over them :)

Nana's Speculoos:

I was excited to try this recipe because I thought it
would make a lovely addition to the Christmas roster.

When I combined  the flour mixture and butter
 I immediately knew this would not work.  

I checked the recipe again, and finally realized
I had missed the note about the egg.  
After making that addition, I still could not make
the dough come together, so I added a smidge of water to hold it.  
 I'm certain, had I used the egg in the proper order, it
would have turned out better.

After three hours of chilling, I still
had my doubts about these little cookies.   
8-10 minutes of baking was not enough time so
I added an additional 5 minutes.  
This worked well, giving them a little brown edge.
These cookies were soooooo delicious, they may replace
NANA'S RICOTTA COOKIES for this season.    

Tricia's comment:
 We want them all, Nana.  Keep baking those cookies. 
 Ricotta and Speculoos alike ;)

Nana's Cookie Extra Credit -
Dorie's Sable Breton Cookies (page 465)


I really wanted to see if these cookies were in any way close
to the flavors in my mother's recipe for Breton cake
 that  I usually make at Christmastime.  

This recipe was fairly simple, but plan ahead because it
 must be chilled at least six hours. 
I prepared the cookie dough the night before so I could start baking early.  

There is something about the flavor of Breton, be it
cookies or cake that I just love.
The taste was the same in each, except that I brush
 an egg yolk on the top of the cake
which gives it a beautiful glaze finish.

I have tasted Breton in both Paris and
 in Brittany, and the flavor never changes.

I know this was not one of the recipes for December,
 but in the spirit of Christmas,
I had to try it.

Notice the lovely charger on display. 
Tricia's Comment: 
Nana is teasing about the charger plate,
because it is mine and she borrowed it for the holidays :)  
These cookies were absolutely lovely. 
 Breton cookies always are and these did not disappoint.


  1. Thanks for showing a picture of the packages specaluoos. I'm remembering having them on European flights and absolutely loving them. The homemade version is way better ;)

  2. How fun to compare the packaged speculoos to the homemade...hands down, the homemade variety wins with beauty and I'll bet flavor too. Fun post.

  3. That is co neat that you had a packaged version! I think your homemade cookies look way better though :)

  4. I think the homemade version looks better :) And loved the extra credit recipe. I actually tagged it on my cookbook to try them later. Thanks for sharing! Angie

  5. Everything look terrific. You guys are having great holidays, I can tell!!

  6. Glad you perservered, even without the egg! Yeah for extra credit!

  7. I missed out the egg too ,but on purpose , actually i added jus a little bit and thought ,lemme see how this turns and it was fine!!
    This was a fun bake and totally loved it and see u did too!!
    Well there is lods of holiday warmth and fun happening here and totally love it too!
    Happy hols!