The Dutch East India Company was this trading operation started in the 1600s that leveraged the Dutch expertise of boating and exploiting non-Dutch people. In 1655, the Dutch East India Company hired a Dutch dingus named Joey Flabeets to join the peppercorn trading team. Joey Flabeets was such a dingus – his frilly blouses were always stained with mustard and he belched A LOT – especially when he was nervous. But he was a nice enough guy and his parents loved him and he knew everything anyone could ever know about black peppercorns.
So in December 1655, Joey’s boss – Shondro Vanderclams – was like “Joey – you’re on the next boat to India. Get packed and get the hell out of here.” Joey jumped at the chance because Dutch Decembers are so cold and boring. The Protestants outlawed literally all the fun stuff like eggnog and sitting around in your underpants.
“Hot damn” thought Joey Flabeets! “I’m off to swinging India! Bye, mom and dad!”
(I should mention here that Mama Flabeets loved carving wood shit. She was really good at whittling. And his dad wore glasses and was bald. The mom carved a lot of carvings of the dad’s bald bespectacled head since that was the only thing the Protestants didn’t outlaw.)
OK – so Joey is off to India. He’s so excited to see the famous Peppercorn Flats of South Banglaore. The boat ride takes like a year, so when they finally drop anchor in India, Joey is like “Thank god that’s over. Woof!” A monkey then steals all of Joey’s money and honks his nipples through his frilly mustard-stained blouse in a comical fashion.
Oh Joey is so upset by the whole business! He meets his peppercorn guide (named Pepper) and is just real real sad. Robbed and disgraced by a monkey all within the first 10 minutes of being in India! Pepper is such a nice lady – and very shwerd- she sees how upset Joey is and she’s like “Guess what, Flabeets. You’re in luck – I grew too much of these other spices and I was going to dump them in the river. How about you just take these other guys with you back to Europe – on me. If you like them, you come back to India and you buy them and that’s how business works!” We’re talking cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cardamom. Joey was like “aw fuckballs – I really need that peppercorn! My boss Shondro Vanderclams is gonna fire me for sure if I come back with all these other crazy spices instead of my dang peppercorn! It’s a good thing I have another yearlong boat ride to make up a good story. Belch.”
So Joey gets on the boat and – WOW – his parents are there in Joey’s cabin! SURPRISE! They hid themselves in the overhead compartment! Joey is like SO HAPPY to see them and he explains his predicament. Joey Sr. calls a family meeting and the three Flabeetses got to brainstorming. It wasn’t long before they all got the munchies and were raiding the cupboards in the ship kitchen. Long story short – this is how speculoos cookies were invented. The Dutch people LOVED the speculooses – the spices, the crisp texture, Joey Sr.’s face stamped on each cookie. Shondro Vanderclams was like “Dammit, Flabeets, you gorgeous sonofabitch – you just saved the day!”
Here’s your dang recipe, y’all biscuitheads:
1.5 sticka butter
1 cuppa brown sugar
3.5 cuppa flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cardamom
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
Mix and chill, babe. Then – after an hour’s chill, roll your shit and cut it or mold it or whatever. If you want super traditional speculooses, you need to get like a springle mold, which seems like a real ordeal…. I just made Flabeets faces and went about my dang life.
NOTE 1 – It’s my homeboy Jimmy’s 50th birthday today, so if you see him around town, give him WARM WISHES! Here’s a photo of beardless Jimmy covered in crumbs. I love this guy.
NOTE 2 – He really hates that photo, so please don’t tell him I’ve posted it.