Speculaas or speculoos is a type of almond spiced biscuit which the Dutch traditionally bake for the arrival of St Nicholas’ day in the Netherlands (December 5th). The origin was that a small bakery baked it about 350 years ago. Speculaas was often shaped by using traditional hand-carved wooden molds that depict the image of St Nicholas.
In our time, speculaas can be eaten at anytime of the year and there are various patterns derived from Christmas, history, and religion.
Speculaas has a simple brown color because it uses brown sugar. It is like a wall painting for that color. People who love speculaas like not only its spiced taste but also the unique patterns.
Spices used in speculaas are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. When you eat a bite of the biscuit, the flavor of the spices spreads in your mouth with the soft sweetness of brown sugar. For Japanese, speculaas is not too sweet and they cannot buy such cookies with a different taste.
Today, speculaas are used to decorate Christmas trees, people dressed as Santa Claus distribute it to children, so it is a necessary biscuit to enjoy Chrismas.
Where can you buy a speculass Cookie in Japan?
You can buy biscuits similar to speculass caramel cookies made by Lotus at KALDI in Japan. This store also sells imported food products.
Lotus is one of the major food companies in Belgium. They produce and sell traditional European foods. This biscuit is best served with tea or coffee.