Speculaas Or St. Nicholas Cookies
|Unsalted butter||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs), softened|
|Vegetable shortening||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Firmly packed light brown sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|All purpose flour||2 1⁄2 Cup (40 tbs)|
|Ground almonds||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Baking powder||2 Teaspoon|
|Ground cloves||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Grated nutmeg||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Heavy cream||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Confectioner's sugar||1⁄2 Pound, sifted|
|White vinegar||2 Teaspoon|
|Egg white||1 Large, beaten|
Cream the butter and shortening with both sugars.
Sift the flour, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the cream and form the mixture into a ball.
Divide the dough in half, wrap in wax paper, and chill overnight.
Roll out the dough, half at a time, between sheets of lightly floured wax paper.
With cookie cutters in Christmas shapes, dipped in flour, cut out and arrange 1 inch apart on lightly buttered baking sheets.
Bake in a 350° F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Cool cookies on the sheets on racks for 10 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely.
Make the icing: Beat the sugar with the egg white until combined, add the vinegar and beat until smooth and stiff.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip and decorate the cookies.