Speculoos are a traditional spiced shortcrust biscuit commonly served in bistros and cafes in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. And these Speculoos Cookies by Trader Joe’s, manufactured in Germany, are about as close to the real thing as I’ve ever been.
The biscuits are usually eaten during the month of December and always have some image or figure often from the traditional stories about St Nicholas stamped on the top side.
These biscuits are thin and very crunchy with an initial flavour that recalls a pretzel sparingly dusted with cinnamon — likely a result of the baking powder used as the leavening agent. A mellow caramelised sweetness develops as you munch through the biscuit before the moreish toasty notes, recalling a cookie baked to golden brown, emerge to lend a richer sweetness ahead of the biscuit dissolving in your mouth and leaving a lingering aftertaste with hints of spice and a reminder of pretzel.
The gentle flavours of these ultra crunchy speculoos bring enough flavour to make them moreish. Any stronger on the spices and it would be too heady to eat more than one at a time.
This box of Speculoos Cookies by Trader Joe’s contained 20 biscuits. It was produced in Germany and purchased in New York, New York, the United States of America in 2016.