We’re finally into December! This month, although always insanely busy, is one of my favourites of the year. As someone who’s always enjoyed baking, crafting and decorating, this is the one season where these activities are actually the norm, and are celebrated as cherished holiday activities. Now…just have to find the time to fit it all in!
Along with the customary North American Christmas, while I was growing up, my family also incorporated Dutch Sinterklaas celebrations into our December. My dad’s family moved to Canada from Holland in the 1960’s, and giving a nod to the holiday of Sinterklaas is something that we continue to this day.
If you hadn’t heard of it before, Sinterklaas is a traditional Dutch celebration of the feast of St Nicholas, and is celebrated in Holland on December 5th (the eve of the St Nicholas feast day) and on December 6th (the actual feast day). Traditionally, the festivities of the day are primarily for children, and involve receiving treats and presents left by Saint Nicholas (see more about the history and traditions of this holiday here).
Because my dad moved to Canada at a pretty young age (and also likely because we celebrate North American Christmas just a few weeks later), our Sinterklaas traditions growing up were pretty low key, and was more just a day that involved eating traditional Dutch treats rather than receiving gifts. Usually, us kids would each receive a large chocolate letter representing the first letter of our name, which is a traditional Sinterklaas treat. We would also sometimes have stroopwafels and bitterballen. One of my favourite treats were Speculaas cookies, spiced gingery crunchy biscuits that I loved to dip in my tea. They are often shaped like a windmill, and, for me, are a quintessential Dutch treat.
In honour of Sinterklaas, and to get the holiday season celebrations started here on UrbanistaAtHome.com, I thought I would combine two of my favourite things into one, in a lovely holiday mashup recipe: coffee and speculaas.
Coming up with a Speculaas Latte recipe was kind of inevitable for me, being a second generation Dutch Canadian living in the Starbucks capital of Canada. This is definitely not a traditonal Dutch drink in any way, but it is inspired by the yummy, sweet spiciness of these little Dutch cookies. I’ve put my recipe below, but thought it would be even more fun to make it into a how-to video, via my Instagram account @UrbanistaAtHome. I hope you enjoy both!
*Although I use a Starbucks Verisimo espresso machine to make my espresso shots, this post is in no way sponsored by Starbucks. Please feel free to use any method of espresso making to come up with the required 2 shots of espresso!*
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New recipe now up on UrbanistaAtHome.com: Holiday Spiced Speculaas Latte! . . Today is Sinterklaas, a traditonal feast day for St Nicholas, which is celebrated in Holland and (in a small way) by my Dutch- Canadian family here in Vancouver, Canada! In honour of Sinterklaas, I've put together a mash up recipe inspired by my unique Canadian perspective on this Dutch holiday: coffee (a Pacific Northwest staple, here in the land of Starbucks) and Speculaas cookies ( a sweet spiced Dutch cookie). The result is my Speculaas Latte! If you like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you'll love this one. . . The full recipe is up on the blog (link in profile) or you can view the full how-to video here. Have a wonderful Sinterklaas! . . #UrbanistaAtHome #DIYblog #homeblog #recipe #cooking #latte #coffee #psl #pumpkinspice #verisimo #starbucks #sinterklaas #speculaas #Christmas #holidays #blog #blogger #yum #nomnom #yummy #espresso #abmlifeissweet #risingtidesociety #follow #likes #howto #tutorial #vancouver #yvr #604
- 2 Tsp white sugar
- 1/4 Tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/8 Tsp boiling water
- 3/4 Cup milk
- 2 shots espresso
- Whipped cream
- Pinch of pumpkin spice, for sprinkling on top of whipped cream
- Speculaas Cookies (can use mini Speculaas Cookies whole, or can crumble Speculaas Cookies into pieces to sprinkle on top of whipped cream)
1. Combine sugar, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Stir, then pour in 1 tablespoon hot water. Stir until dissolved. Pour into pre-warmed mug.
2. Pour 3/4 cup of milk into the mug over the spice/sugar mixture and stir to combine. Heat milk in microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds (you may need to adjust the time depending on your microwave). Re-stir the milk.
3. Prepare 2 of espresso and pour into the milk, and stir lightly.
4. Top beverage with desired amount of whipped cream. Sprinkle a pinch of pumpkin spice on top of the whipped cream. Place a miniature Speculaas cookie or crumble pieces of Speculaas on top of the whipped cream. Serve hot and enjoy!