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Speculoos and gingerbread: homemade they taste particularly good
What would the Christmas season be without speculoos and gingerbread? The spicy pastries taste best homemade - and that is not particularly difficult or time-consuming. Speculoos have a long tradition, especially on the Lower Rhine, in Belgium and in the Netherlands. The cookies tell the story of the Bishop of Myra, better known as Saint Nicholas, in pictures.
If you want to prepare the pastries yourself, mix classic roasted hazelnuts, grated lemon peel, butter, sugar, cream and egg yolk to a smooth mass. In addition, there are oriental spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise, cardamom and nutmeg, which are also contained in ready-made speculoos. With flour and deer horn salt (serves as a raising agent), the ingredients are made into a dough that is chilled for an hour. Then pour the mass into traditional molds made of wood or silicone. Alternatively, the dough can be rolled out thinly and cut out with normal Christmas shapes. At 200 degrees, the speculoos are ready in 8 to 10 minutes.
Another advent classic is gingerbread, which is prepared in many variations. The name is probably derived from the Latin word for pita (libum). The Nuremberg gingerbread is particularly famous. In earlier times, many trade routes passed in Nuremberg. So the bakers easily got foreign spices, which were summarized under the term "pepper". That is why the gingerbread is also known as gingerbread. The idea came from the monasteries to spread the dough on wafers so that it did not stick to the tin.
For a wafer gingerbread, butter, sugar and eggs are mixed until frothy, mixed with baking powder, flour, milk and ground hazelnuts and refined with cocoa powder and a dash of rum. Finally stir in finely chopped raisins and lemon and a gingerbread spice mixture, which usually consists of cinnamon, anise, cloves, cardamom and coriander. The gingerbread mass comes on the wafer and is baked in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. If you like it even sweeter, cover the round thaler with a chocolate glaze. In a well-sealed tin, they can be kept until they are stuck. Heike Kreutz, respectively