I opened one package of cookies (they come two to a pack) and enjoyed them right away on the plane. I decided to save my extras to take home so that I could taste them side by side against a homemade version, using the speculaas recipe from Baked Explorations -- which the cookbook authors say is as close to the Biscoff as possible. I made the speculaas a few months ago and thought they were fantastic, but I couldn't resist the urge to make another batch to see how they measured up against the real thing.
I still love the speculaas -- they are spicy, crispy, and lightly sweet. But make no mistake, they are not Biscoffs. The Biscoffs were drier, crispier, more buttery, and had a lovely toasted flavor absent from the homemade version. In addition, the speculaas had a stronger spice flavor. To be honest, I prefer the Biscoff. Something about the crisp texture is so satisfying. However, after my real Biscoffs were gone, I continued to wholeheartedly enjoy the homemade speculaas. They might not be able to pass for real Biscoffs, but they are still incredibly tasty.
I packed up my speculaas and shared them with my extended family when we got together for a father's day brunch. I knew that the speculaas were a real smash hit when my cousin's children, three-year old Alexis and almost two-year old Josh, happily noshed on them. After all, children aren't afraid to tell you what they really think. Alexis said she loved her biscuit, and even before she finished eating it, she announced her plan to eat another one later in the day after her nap.
Recipe: "Speculaas" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
Previous Post: "The Biscoff Knockoff: Speculaas," November 18, 2010.