It has been almost exactly 3 years since I last participated in a Daring Bakers Challenge, and even then I only did one challenge in 2010 (Nanaimo Bars - which are amazeballs might I add). Before that I hadn't done any since 2009. I participated in these challenges for quite a while before I quit due to the increase of calories in our household. But now that Jason is working lawncare full time, I figure I can get away with going back to one of my favorite hobbies - baking.
I had ZERO idea what I was making - all I knew, was that it was a Dutch pastry of some kind. Part of the challenge was to mix our own spices to create the Speculaas spices - which pretty much consists of 10 or so different spices (Cardamom, Mace, Ground Cloves, Anise Seed, Cinnamon, Ginger, Coriander, Nutmeg and White Pepper which I didn't add). As fun as that was, the spices smelled so strongly that I was afraid I wasn't going to like this pastry very much. But thankfully, I was wrong ;-)
The Gevulde Speculaas turned out like a slightly crunchy gingerbread with a chewy almond paste center and taste wonderfully with a hot cup of coffee. And as a big bonus, it was a fairly quick recipe to make. Please believe, there's been some challenges that have taken me daaaaayyyys to make.
Jason, my inlaws and my co-workers all loved them - so the recipe is a winner in our book and will be added to my trusty recipe box shortly!