Hi everyone! I am so excited to be here on the SaltTree today! I am Esther and you may or may not know me from my blog Happy in Red. I am 30 years old and live in Utrecht, The Netherlands. That’s a 2000 year old city in the centre of the country and I love it there. I am a journalist and (web) editor by day and a blogger and crazy Etsy shopowner by night. I love to sew and crochet and in my shop you can find my bags and vintage inspired crochet blankets and pillow covers.
But, that’s not what I came to tell you here today! The holidays are coming and in The Netherlands we celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th. Sinterklaas? Doesn’t that sound familiar? Yes! It’s our very on Dutch Sinterklaas that was introduced a few hundred years back in the US and whom you now know as… indeed… Santa Claus. And I have to tell you: the original is better 😉 Just kidding! I am a big fan of this Dutch holiday and it’s all about sweets. One thing we love to eat is ‘speculaas’. Traditionally we eat speculaas cookies, but since we don’t live in the 1950’s anymore (or so I’ve read) I was thinking to show you how to make a more hip treat with speculaas: Dutch speculaas-almond muffins.
First we need to tackle the ‘speculaas’ issue. In The Netherlands we can easily walk to the supermarket and buy ‘speculaas’ spices when we want to make speculaas cookies. But I am guessing you don’t live around the corner from a Dutch store, so here’s what you need to make speculaas spices: cardamon, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, white pepper and cloves. Put them all in your food processor and grind finely, or use your pestle and mortar to do this.
What else do you need for Dutch speculaas-almond muffins?
140 grams all purpose flour
140 grams whole wheat flour
80 grams dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons of speculaas spices.
3-4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 large egg
65 ml vegetable oil/ olive oil
280 ml milk
teaspoon lemon juice
70 grams of shaved almonds
handful of whole almonds
If you don’t know how to work with grams and you rather work with cups or ounces, you can convert here!
So let’s get started! Do you have your apron on? Spoons and muffin pan nearby? Then you’re all set!
Put your oven on 200C / 390F
In a large mixing bowl, put all the dry ingredients and stir well. In another bowl mix the wet ingredients and the egg. Put the two mixtures together and stir through until it’s one lumpy mixture. You don’t want to stir too long or the muffins won’t rise too well. And we wouldn’t want that! So keep it lumpy. After that swiftly stir through the almond shavings.
Grease your muffin pan and fill all the openings until they’re 2/3 filled. Put some whole almonds on the top of all the muffins-to-be. Put the tin in the oven for 25 minutes and then you wonderful Sinterklaas speculaas muffins are done. Really good with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Trust me!