Speculoos Hamantaschen

Speculoos, or European cookie butter, seems to be all the rage these days. Trader Joe’s makes their own brand and also has several speculoos related products including a chocolate bar and even flavored cookies. Food52 has a recipe for making your own cookie butter and Kitchen-Tested has a vegan recipe as well. I bought mine at Target, but I wager most major supermarkets will have it in stock.

I don’t always fall into trends, but I will admit: speculoos cookie butter is delicious and addictive. It is sweet, it tastes like a cookie but has the smooth, creamy consistency of peanut butter. I am not one to eat peanut butter right out of the jar, but dear god help me if I see a spoon near a jar of speculoos.

speculoos hamantaschen2

And so, it seemed perfectly obvious when my husband suggested a speculoos filled hamantaschen. I went to work right away, filling each triangle and then drizzling the finished product in dark chocolate and topped with pearl sugar. After all, a European cookie butter hamantaschen needs an extra sophisticated topping. I also added a pinch of thick sea salt to take the sweet flavors up a notch.

Note: the speculoos will spread a lot when it is baked, so make sure to pop your assembled cookies into the freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking. This will help ensure the cookies remain intact.


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Ingredients

½ cup butter (or margarine)

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 Tbsp milk (or almond milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour plus more

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

speculoos for filling

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped pieces or chips

2 tsp vegetable oil

pearl sugar (optional)

thick sea salt (optional)

Directions

Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg, milk and vanilla until mixed thoroughly.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated.

Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by 1/4 cup of flour until more firm.

Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Dust your work surface with powdered sugar or flour to keep from sticking. Roll the dough to about ¼ inch thick.

Using a round cookie cutter, cut out and place onto cookie sheet. To keep the dough from sticking to your cutter, dip in powdered sugar or flour before each cut.

Fill cookies with scant 1/2 tsp of speculoos in each round. Place cookies on baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper and place entire baking sheet into the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. This will ensure the cookie don’t fall apart while baking.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely.

Place dark chocolate and vegetable oil in a small glass bowl. Heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted. Mix until completely smooth. Use right away.

Use a fork or a small plastic squeeze bottle to drizzle dark chocolate sauce back and forth on cookies. Sprinkle with pearl sugar and a pinch of sea salt if desired. Allow to dry completely on a cooling rack before serving or packaging.

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