The classic seasonings and brown sugar flavors of Biscoff speculoos cookies are baked inside biscotti and begging to be dipped into your favorite seasonal latte.
I’m sitting on the counter swinging my bare feet, the floor two feet away. It’s summer, and I’m in shorts, my legs sticking to the counter when I shift my weight so that I have to peel them off like a bandaid, only less painful. On the counter next to me is a goldenrod mixer. Just past the mixer are the plastic gallon ice cream buckets my mom uses to store flour and sugar. I can see the counter, the mixer, my mom with her waist-length raven hair tied back and falling down her back. My towheaded sister is on her hip, clutching the measuring spoons.
Memories fade. Have you ever tried looking back at something and realized that the colors are dulled, the details not so clear? It’s as if you’re watching the television without your glasses. You can get the gist of what’s going on, but the screen appears fuzzy. You can hear the words, but you can’t quite make out who is saying them.
My most brilliant childhood memories all involve the kitchen. They are the etched into walls of my mind as if carved in stone. The smells and sounds, the way the room felt, sometimes even the clothes I’m wearing are all there. (Nerd Reading: Memories that involve multiple senses can be easier to recall. These visual and sensory elements trigger the rest of the memory to come flooding back to the surface. I’ll spare you the details about the prefrontal cortex and where memories are stored and how the brain works when you recall them.)
The simple sight of a mixer on the counter and my instinct is to plop one of my children down next to it and make chocolate chip cookies, recreating the memory from childhood where each recipe was a story that changed and shifted every time we made them. Baking was an act where we created stories from our imaginations, cookies with our hands, and memories never to be forgotten.
I’ve had a KitchenAid ever since I moved out of my parents’ house. First it was my grandma’s old mixer from the ’70s, which was upgraded to a 5.5-quart when I was married. The 5.5-quart served me well. Still, with the insane number of Christmas cookies I insist on making every year and the horrible habit I have of tripling every baking adventure so that there are plenty of leftovers to share, I found that I often filled my bowl to capacity. I felt restricted by the size of my mixer.
When KitchenAid came out with a 7-quart bowl I instantly dreamed of it on my counter. With all the features and wonder of my previous KitchenAids, this one has the ability for me to indulge my desire to feed the entire neighborhood every time I bake. I couldn’t help but say yes when KA asked if I could create a recipe with one on my counter.
The first cookies coming out of this mixer were not of the chocolate chip variety, however. Instead, I reworked biscotti to include the four-spice seasonings of a traditional speculoos cookie. My biscotti is wearing an early Halloween costume and doubling as those sweet Biscoff cookies I can’t get enough of. The spice is suited to autumn, and dipping these cookies into a pumpkin spice latte is definitely on the to-do list for the season.
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat your oven to 350º F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cardamom, white pepper, and salt. In an electric mixer, cream together the dark brown sugar and the butter until fluffy. Add in the eggs and beat until combined. Slowly mix in all of the dry ingredients until they are incorporated into the dough.
Split the dough in half and shape into two logs, 3″ wide and 1″ high. Place the logs on a parchment lined baking sheet at least 3″ apart. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges just start to brown and the center of the cookie logs are set.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and drop the temperature down to 250º F. Let the cookie cook slightly so that it is easier to handle. Using a serrated knife, slice 1/2″-3/4″ strips lengthwise. Rest the slices on their sides on the baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through, until biscotti are golden along the edges.
Makes 18-20 biscotti cookies.