It’s time for yet another Christmas cookie post! The science behind my selection of the Tesco Finest mince pie cookies in the previous post were linked to “FOMO” and curiosity, however, my reasons for picking the speculoos cookies are vastly different.
With limited tins on the shelf, it was a potential “now or never” moment, and I had to get it. Walking away from the mysterious speculoos wasn’t exactly an option as my heart was set on the idea of a caramel-esque dulce de leche holiday cookie from the moment I learnt about its existence (which was only within the few seconds my eyes detected it). Caramel is a welcomed friend to my taste buds, I couldn’t just exclude caramel from my Christmas festivities. With tins of cookies in my basket (including the mince pie version), I gleefully pictured myself in my comfiest jacket, sitting in front of the TV with a festive movie playing (I’m enjoying as many as I can!) whilst enjoying these warm cookies. There’s just something magical about warm cookies this time of the year!
Another reason behind my impromptu Tesco Finest cookie haul is that I’m officially into hot foods and drinks. My icy favorites are taking a short hiatus in this cold and wet weather. It isn’t necessarily “thick parka” weather, but it calls for sweaters and raincoats (if you’re into ponchos and those stuff). Having been on a winter diet that includes hot tea and noodle soups, the warm cookie range sounds fitting for wintery vibes.
Speculoos (known as ‘speculaas’ in Dutch – translated as ‘windmill cookies’) originates from the Netherlands. They’re traditionally baked to celebrate St Nicholas Day (was on 6th of December this year), and the speculoos is a staple at Christmastime. Based on bits of sleuthing, I learnt that speculoos are commonly associated with Biscoff biscuits. Some people tend to classify speculoos as a member of the shortbread family. Classic speculoos depict images and are shaped from special molds. One such shape is of Santa, as a representation of St Nicholas. Speculoos are spiced too, and the most common ones you’ll spot in these biscuits include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.
From what I’ve gathered, these cookies from Tesco Finest are spiced with cinnamon and filled with a dulce de leche filling. Presenting a Dutch classic with a Latin American twist is intriguing indeed. As a caramel-lover, I’m game for joining this Dutch-Latin crossover of flavors!
As always with this cookie range, they’re at their peak of enjoyment when warmed for 10 to 12 seconds in the microwave. After cooling for a minute or so, they’re ready!
The scent of cinnamon made its presence felt upon lifting the tin’s lid.
What I appreciate about this the most is its flavors aren’t complicated at all. The power of cinnamon and dulce de leche are intertwined – although they’re two separate elements. Dulce de leche softens the cinnamon, and cinnamon adds spice to the sweet dulce de leche filling. The filling is a smooth, thick dulce de leche sauce (which is stunning when consumed warm!) with a cinnamon and sugar dusted cookie. This cookie doesn’t resemble the mince pie filled ones – it’s a clear nod to the original speculoos. It’s lightly spiced as well.
Not only have I learnt about speculoos, I’ve learnt that “Merry Christmas” is “Vrolijk Kerstfeest” in Dutch! And of course, “Feliz Navidad” (the song’s a must-have on every Christmas playlist!) is the Spanish translation. I enjoyed this cookie!