A quick switch to 3/16 inch dowels and to the embossing pin, I started at the surface closest to me and pressed down while rolling away from me.
The pin leaves a nice impression of the design, this one is called Paisley.
Your choice of dough really matters here. If you are familiar with springerle or speculaa cookies, you might already have a favorite dough to work with. For those of you new to this concept, stick with a cookie dough that doesn’t have a leavener such as a classic rolled sugar cookie. This is my adaptation of a Spekulatius cookie, a traditional German version of gingerbread.
The design is abstract but organized in a manner that you can easily position cutters over sections of the dough to get a specific part of the design or just wing it and see what happens!
Once baked, the design is a bit softer but still pretty obvious. If you have ever baked springerle, you are familiar with the concept of letting the cookies sit and dry before baking-something I might try. A lower baking temperature might also aid in retaining the design.
Almond Spekulatius Cookies
makes 4-6 dozen cookies depending on the size of your cutters
7 ounces unsalted butter, softened (14 tablespoons, 199g)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed in the cup (210 g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg, large size
2 tablespoons spekulatius spice blend, homemade or purchased*
1/2 cup almond flour (60g)*
1 cup white whole wheat flour (154g)*
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (140g)
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy. Scrape the bowl as you go to insure it is completely mixed. Add the egg, mix it in completely. By hand, fold in the remaining ingredients and form a thick disk with the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours and up to several days, you can also freeze it for a month.
When ready to make the cookies, allow the dough to come to room temperature, it should be pliable but not sticky. Preheat the oven to 350. Using the method described in the photos above, roll and cut out the cookies. Place them on sheet pans lined with parchment or silpats and bake until golden around the edges, about 12-14 minutes. Allow them to cool on the tray for a few minutes and then move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Store them in an air tight container.
Some notes on the ingredients:
Almond flour gives a nice crunch to the dough, you can substitute with any finely ground nut that you prefer. For those with nut allergies, substitute an additional 1/2 cup of all purpose flour.
White whole wheat flour is just another way of adding texture to the dough along with a little extra flour. Feel free to experiment with other whole grain flours but start by measuring out a cup, they all have different weights!