Making these spicy Sinterklaas treats could not be any easier. The fragrant fug your home will be enveloped in alone will make it worth the while, not to mention their sweet crispy bite.
Basterdsuiker is a typical Dutch product. It is manufactured by adding invert sugar and other ingredients to fine white refined sugar. This mixture helps to achieve certain textural structures and keeps baked goods moist. There are three varieties, white, brown and dark brown, called witte basterdsuiker, (licht)bruine basterdsuiker or gele basterdsuiker and donkerbruine basterdsuiker. It is widely available from Dutch supermarkets and some. I've had good results substituting the donkerbruine basterdsuiker in this recipe with pure cane sugar (demerera). You can order little sachets of speculaas spices (known as speculaaskruiden) online. But you can easily substitute pumpkin pie spices. You can also make your own speculaaskruiden. The traditional method calls for using a speculaasplank, a carved wooden board. A regular cookie cutter will do fine.