Homemade Biscoff cookies

Homemade Biscoff Cookies

It seems like every time I log onto a social networking site, someone has posted another Biscoff cookie-based recipe.  Well, now’s as good a time as ever to jump on the bandwagon myself.  All of the homemade Biscoff cookie recipes I’ve found so far have included ingredients I’m allergic to (I have a lot of food allergies).  So, without further ado, here is my take on homemade Biscoff cookies – without soy, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, or cloves.  The only spice listed in the ingredients on the packing is cinnamon anyhow.

IMG_0064

See? Just cinnamon; no nutmeg, ginger, allspice, or cloves.  (The “wheat flour” is just plain “white” flour, by the way; not whole wheat flour.)

So what are Biscoff cookies anyhow?  Whether you know them by the name Biscoff or Speculoos, they’re a spiced shortbread cookie – if you’re familiar with Walkers Shortbread, think cinnamon-flavored Walkers, and you won’t be too far off.  Biscoff/Speculoos cookies are based on Dutch speculaas cookies, which are traditionally made and eaten around the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6th) through Christmas (December 25th).  They are typically baked with an image or figure stamped on the top before baking (kinda like animal crackers).

Fun fact:  The name Biscoff is a combination of “biscuit” and “coffee,” as it’s often enjoyed with a nice cup of coffee.

Biscoff/Speculoos/speculaas cookies are often transformed from their crispy cookie state to creamy (or chunky) cookie butter.  Cookie butter is made by combining cookie crumbs with fat (e.g. butter or oil), flour, and sugar.  The ingredients are mixed until they have a spreadable consistency, like peanut butter.  Scandinavian bakers have actually been using cookie butter in their baked goods – especially cakes – for years.

Alright, enough background information.  Let’s bake!

Step-by-Step Recipe

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.

IMG_0039

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla extract and mix again.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl often.

Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Lightly flour a large surface to roll out the dough.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness.  You can use cookie cutters to create shapes with the dough, slice it freehand or with the help of a ruler, or you can bake it as one or a few gigantic cookies.  I like to use the ruler method, but feel free to experiment here.

IMG_0055

These were rolled out and cut with a pastry cutter, with the help of a ruler (7 cm x 3.5 cm fluted rectangles).  I was able to make about 4-5 dozen cookies with this cookie-cutting method.

IMG_0060

These cookies were cut with a cookie cutter (I used a 6 cm fluted round cookie cutter that I bought at Williams-Sonoma).  I was able to make almost 4 dozen cookies using this cookie-cutting method.

If you choose to bake the cookie dough in shapes, place them in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.  If you choose to bake the cookie dough as one or a few gigantic cookies, bake at 350° for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies (15-20 minutes for several large cookies, 20-25 minutes for one gigantic cookie).

If you choose to bake the cookie dough in shapes, remove the cookie dough from the freezer, arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Since baking times may vary based on which oven you have and how big you cut the cookies, keep a close eye on them around the 6-7 minute mark, especially if you made cookies that are on the smaller side.  Because of the thinness of the cookies, coupled with the high sugar content, they can go from perfect to burnt in the blink of an eye.

Cool on a cooling rack before serving.  The cookies will crisp and set as they cool, so make sure you don’t skip this step!  You’ll burn your tongue and won’t be able to enjoy the crispiness of the fully-cooled cookies.

IMG_0075

Go on, take a bite.

 

Homemade Biscoff Cookies

  • Servings: 2-6 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Melt-in-your-mouth, thin, crunchy brown sugar-cinnamon-flavored cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) cake flour
  • 3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup  (95g) shortening
    • if you don’t want to use shortening, use 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (160g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl often.
  4. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  6. Lightly flour a large surface to roll out the dough.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness.  You can use cookie cutters to create shapes with the dough, slice it freehand or with the help of a ruler, or you can bake it as one or a few gigantic cookies.  I like to use the ruler method, but feel free to experiment here.
  7. If you choose to bake the cookie dough in shapes, place them in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.  If you choose to bake the cookie dough as one or a few gigantic cookies, bake at 350° for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies (15-20 minutes for several large cookies, 20-25 minutes for one gigantic cookie).
  8. If you choose to bake the cookie dough in shapes, remove the cookie dough from the freezer, arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Since baking times may vary based on which oven you have and how big you cut the cookies, keep a close eye on them around the 6-7 minute mark, especially if you made cookies that are on the smaller side.  Because of the thinness of the cookies, coupled with the high sugar content, they can go from perfect to burnt in the blink of an eye.
  9. Cool on a cooling rack before serving.  The cookies will crisp and set as they cool, so make sure you don’t skip this step!  You’ll burn your tongue and won’t be able to enjoy the crispiness of the fully-cooled cookies.

Additional Notes:

  • To make your own cake flour from all-purpose flour, measure out 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons (15g) of the flour, add 2 tablespoons (16g) cornstarch, and sift 2-3 times.  (Note: you will need to measure out 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour, remove 3 tablespoons (24g) of the flour, and add 3 tablespoons (24g) cornstarch.)  You could also measure out 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour and add 3 tablespoons (24g) cornstarch.  Don’t forget to sift 2-3 times before using!
    • Different types of flour have different percentages of protein.  The higher the percentage of protein, the more gluten will form, and the better the cookie dough will hold together.  Using flour with a high protein content creates chewier, firmer cookies; using flour with a lower protein content creates lighter, more tender cookies.
    • Protein content of the flours used:
      • Cake flour has the lowest protein content, at 6-8%.
      • All-purpose flour has a higher protein content, at 9.5-12% (Gold Medal and Pillsbury all-purpose flours have a 10.5% protein content).
      • Bread flour has an even higher protein content, at 11.5-14%.
    • This recipe has a 8.9375% protein content.  It’s basically cake flour with a little extra protein.  This, as I explained earlier, makes the cookies lighter and more tender.  When coupled with the thinness of the rolled-out dough (and thus the thinness of the baked cookie) and high sugar content, you get delicious, crisp cookies that don’t break your teeth when you take a bite.
      • If you were to use 1 c. cake flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour, it would have a 9.25% protein content.  If you were to use 2 cups all-purpose flour, it would have a 10.5% protein content.
  • You can use 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter instead of 1/2 cup each of unsalted butter (113g) and shortening (95g).
  • Dutch and Belgian speculaas cookies are made with light brown sugar.  I preferred the slightly deeper color the dark brown sugar gave the cookies, so I used dark brown sugar.  Play around with it and let me know what you think!
  • If your dough is too wet, add 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour, in 1 tablespoon (7.5g) increments.  If your dough is too dry, add up to 2 tablespoons (28g) of softened unsalted butter.  I wouldn’t recommend adding additional shortening.  (Trust me, I tried it and it was awful.  Just don’t.)
    • I added both 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons (28g) of softened unsalted butter to my dough, but this may not be necessary for others.
  • I like to slice my cookies into 7 cm x 3.5 cm rectangles (similar in size to actual Biscoff cookies) using a pastry wheel, or use a 4-4.5 cm diameter round cookie cutter to cut and bake the cookies into circles that would fit at the bottom of a baking cup (if you haven’t tried mini cheesecakes, baked in a muffin tin, with a cookie for the crust, go do so immediately.)

One thought on “Homemade Biscoff Cookies

Leave a Reply