This is one of my favorite cookies, I also call them airplane cookies, as these are what you get for a snack on many flights on all airlines. They are so crispy and light, and the spice mixture is just delicious. So addicting!
Traditionally, Speculaas are made by pressing the dough into a mold before baking in the oven. Using a springerle rolling pin (a rolling pin with a pattern carved into it) is an easy way to press a shape alot of cookies at once. If you don’t have a speculaas mold or a springerle rolling pin (both of which can be found online or at a specialty baking shop), you can just use regular holiday cookie cutters to make festive shaped cookies instead or just roll them out, and cut them into squares with a sharp knife. They’ll still taste great and make your house smell like the holidays.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cover and store in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Cream butter and dry ingredients together on medium speed for 30 seconds or until the batter is uniform in color. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add the vanilla extract and egg and beat on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 more seconds). Scrape down the sides again and add the flour. Beat on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 more seconds)
Split the cookie dough in half. If you using the springerle rolling pin, roll the dough out until 1/2 inch thick with a plain rolling pin. Liberally dust the springerle pin with flour then roll over the dough, pressing firmly to make a 1/4 inch thick cookie dough, with imprint. Cut the dough along the springerle grid lines with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. If using a cookie cutter, roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick with a plain rolling pin and cut out cookies. If using a traditional speculaas cookie mold, roll the dough until 1/2 thick with a plain rolling pin. Lightly spray the mold with cooking oil, then liberally dust with all purpose flour (knocking out any loose flour once you’ve dusted it). Press the dough into the mold, remove excess dough of the back of the mold.
Carefully move or unmold the cookie onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before the time is up, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Bake the cookies in the oven 9-11 minutes or until the cookies look golden brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving the cookies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. The cookies will harden as they cool.