Speculaas is not just a spiced shortcrust biscuit, but one of the symbols of winter festivities like Sinterklaas and Christmas. Dutch bakers test their best recipes long before the start of the holiday season. During the Beko Speculaaskeur 2019, a professional competition for bakers from all over the Netherlands, several Northern speculaas-makers won a prize last week.
In total, the Beko Speculaaskeur jury tested 275 pieces of traditional treats: 102 speculaas biscuits without almonds, 103 speculaas cookies with almonds and 70 pieces of stuffed speculaas. A minimum of 7 out of 10 points was required to qualify for a certificate and a poster package.
‘It’s about the complete picture,’ shared his winning strategy the best baker in Drenthe Amir Alsady. ‘The taste, thickness of the cookie and whether the almonds are nicely browned. The differences may have to do with the ingredients, the recipe and the method of baking,’ as reported by RTV Drenthe.
Located in Assen, Amir’s bakery Alsady Brood & Banket won the provincial title in all three categories.
The most delicious speculaas in the province of Groningen comes from Zevenhuizen, Bakkerij van Esch.
As for the best speculaas in Friesland, the titles were awarded to three bakeries in Heerenveen, Kollum and Boornbergum: De Bakkers van Verloop for speculaas biscuits without almonds, Bakkerij A.J. van der Bijl for speculaas cookies with almonds and De Fryske Bakkerij for stuffed speculaas.