Sunday, November 27, 2011

Speculaas Recipe & Saturday Night Live

We've gone over this before right?

I hate to be alone.

As a kid, when nobody was around, I'd pretend I was famous.

I was alone a lot, so for years I was kinda in this perpetual trance, and while being in this altered state of mind......I'd often interview myself.

As I got older, I became a baker.

I would mix doughs, or run ovens while you slept (or before you were born), and while this took place.........

I'd pretend I was famous and I would conduct M.P.R. interviews with "Klecko - Lord of the Sourdoughs."

Today I had to drop my kid back off at college. I drove about 20 billion mile to Iowa.

I passed horses -
I passed cows -
I saw a dead deer pushed off to the side of the highway -
I passed Amish peeps -

Most of the way there, my son slept, and you know what?

I felt time.

I didn't feel alone.

I was good.

But then I finally get to his dorm, stop the bread truck 20 yards from his entrance and mutter......

"Ya know, you're practically home, but I'm not even 1/2 way to my doorstep!"

Tydus rolls his eyes and drops inappropriate language.

In past posts, I've shared my strategy for music, but if you've heard this part....bare with me, let's let the new L.A.B. Rats catch up.

I have a c.d. in my truck, I've had it for 2 1/2 years.

It only has 3 songs, but they play in a continuous loop.

Song #1 is Oasis / Wonder Wall

Song #2 is Oasis / Champagne Super Nova

Song #3 is U2 / Windows in the Sky

After dropping my son "The Hustler" off, I turned tail and headed homeward.

Within 10 minutes I began to feel alone.

I don't like that, so lately the thing I do is pretend (get this) that I am a famous musician on Saturday Night Live.

I am towards the end of my career, kinda like where Bob Dylan is today.

But e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y loves me, and oh yeah....I've already played my first song.

So I cue up my C.D. to U2's "Window in the Sky" song, and just before it starts......

Steve Martin walks on to the stage and announce..........

"Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome......MEOW."

And then the music chimes in.

But what is unique about the second song is that my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter comes out to do the second song with me, but she's around 13 in my minds eye.

I sing from a sitting position, on an inverted 5 gallon honey pale, while leaning into a sawed off microphone stand.

Madison Rose (my Granddaughter) is wearing a Nebraska Cornhusker cheer leading uniform, and on the last stanza of the song, I let her take over...she crushes, becomes famous, and I die happy.

My thoughts may seem odd, but I contend that they pass the time quicker, and in a more pleasurable manner than counting hay bails along the highway.

Now an hour and a 1/2 or 2 have passed.

I'm in Cannon Falls, and I have to pee.

I hate pulling off the highway, but I have no other choice, so I pop into a McDonald's.

I am not hungry.

I am not thirst. but I have to pee.

So I do, and maybe this is just me, but I feel guilty using a facilities rest room and then not patronizing the establishment.

To me, it just seems tacky.

So I ordered a Diet Coke and a simple cheeseburger.

While I'm waiting for my feast....I pull out my droid to check for missed calls, e-mails and Facebook updates.......

O-M-G.....when I got to Facebook, I noticed that Kim Ode's "Baking 101" page had around a billion hits on a thread where people were discussing Speculaas recipes.

If you don't know that word, it's basically referring to...well, have you ever seen those hand carved wooden molds that you push cookie dough into?

Those are Speculaas.

The Germans and the Dutch go ape over them.

Often time the Dutch version will make little brown windmills.

Anyways, somebody on Facebook was freaked out because they said they tried a Molasses recipe, but the cookies popped out and they didn't hold their form.

So Klecko.....the Master Baker chimes in and says something like......

"Dear whats your head, I am sorry to report that Speculaas are really more for show. They are kinda like fondant cakes...they look nice, but don't taste as good as butter cream.

With the Speculaas, you don't use B-Soda or B-Powder, any energy will pop your cookie out of the mold. used to eat the contents from these molds, but that was in what???? 1492 Munich?

Seriously, I know how bad a** those wooden forms look, but seriously....just set them against the splash guard on your sink to intimidate your Mother in Law when she comes other.

That might not recoup your investment, but it sure is fun."

I gotta tell ya, you'd have thought I shot the Pope...LOL.

People defied Uncle Klecko's wisdom.

People stated stories steeped in romance where they had sampled this culinary antique....and in their memory.....the speculaas was divine.

Oh well, if you get a chance, Google some of the speculaas molds, they are gorgeous.

And just for the fun of it.....if you were on Saturday Night Live.....

What would your band's name be, and who would introduce you?

Here you go, this recipe comes from "All Recipes" online. I Googled others, but so many of them used B-Powder or B-Soda....Liar-Liar Pant's on Fire.

They simply won't-won't-won't work if you p[lace your cookie dough in a specialty mold.

Trust me.

Speculaas Cookie Recipe


* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds


1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour with spices, baking powder and salt.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and mix well.

3. Stir in by hand half the flour mixture, then add the remaining flour and almonds. Mix with a wooden spoon or knead with hands.

4. Divide dough into four parts, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours. (If you are using a mold, chill it as well.)

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and grease two cookie sheets.

6. Remove one quarter of the dough from the refrigerator and flatten it with your hands. Oil your mold and lightly flour it. Using your fingers, press dough firmly into the mold. Trim any excess dough from the mold with a knife.

7. Transfer the cookies onto greased cookie sheets with a spatula, spacing about one inch apart.

8. Refrigerate dough trimming to be rerolled later. Lightly flour but do not re-oil cookie mold.

9. Repeat process with remaining dough. When cookie sheets are full, bake cookies for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Store in a covered tin.


  1. Carly Simon would ask everyone to put their hands together for ....... Walnut Grove!

  2. hello from Brussels, where I'm surrounded by the legand of Sinter Klaas and speculoos. I tend to think it tastes like a paste of cinnamon graham crackers, myself, and I'd trade it gladly for a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies! just saying the spice is greener on the other side ;)
    hugs from Brussels!

  3. I would be Elvis Costello, singing "Why won't you tell me bout the Mystery Dance?"

    Because I try and I try and i'm still mystified. I can't do it anymore and I'm not satisfied.