Christmas baking: what's in speculoos and gingerbread spices and how should you store Advent spices?
Created: 12/14/2022, 11:30 am
By: Janine Napirca
In many Christmas recipes you need speculoos spice or gingerbread spice.
What exactly is in the spice mixtures and what is the best way to store Advent spices?
1 / 10Christmas baking is primarily characterized by well-known and popular Christmas spices.
When it smells of cinnamon or vanilla, you know: Christmas is coming soon.
In the following, you can read about which other spices are also increasingly used during the Advent season, what else they are used for and how they are best stored.
2 / 10In some Christmas recipes you need gingerbread spice or speculoos spice - but what exactly is that?
Basically, this means spice mixtures that mostly consist of cinnamon.
Gingerbread spice usually also contains anise, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
In speculoos spice rather cloves, nutmeg and cardamom, orange and lemon zest, coriander and pepper.
3 / 10In the run-up to Christmas, aniseed is used in gingerbread, cookies and punch to flavor it.
Outside of the Advent season, the spice is also used for red cabbage, carrots, meat or fish.
There is also an anise note in ouzo, raki and pastis.
You can also season bread, cakes, fruit salad, mousse or compote with it.
Anise is also occasionally found in milk dishes or semolina recipes.
It is best to store dried seeds in storage jars, then the spice will keep for up to three years without losing its aroma.
© Addictive Stock/Imago
4 / 10 Cloves are mainly used for gingerbread and mulled wine at Christmas time.
However, the spice is also suitable for marinades, sauces, compotes, chutneys and curries.
You should store cloves protected from light, dry and sealed, then they will keep for about half a year.
© Mariusz Prusaczyk/Imago
5 / 10The sweet and spicy cardamom is found in cookies and other desserts at Christmas.
The spice, which soothes the stomach and aids digestion, is also used in curries and breads.
Keep cardamom dry and it will keep for two years before the flavor fades.
© Mariusz Prusaczyk/Imago
6 / 10Nutmeg is not only used to taste mulled wine, punch or hot chocolate.
Dishes such as vegetable gratin, minced meat, mashed potatoes and stews also get a special aroma from the spice.
You can also spice up spinach, pumpkin or cakes, rice pudding and semolina with nutmeg.
Storing the nutmegs whole instead of ground will preserve the flavor.
It is best to store the spice in a jar - cool, dry and dark, then it will keep for several months.
7 / 10Ginger can be found in Advent in gingerbread, biscuits, chocolates, but also in pudding, jam and compote.
But ginger tea is also very popular, especially in the cold season.
You should store the ginger root in a cool and dark place.
It is best to wrap the area you cut in damp paper towels and then place the tuber in an airtight storage bag.
You can store ginger in the crisper in the refrigerator for about three weeks.
© Francis Dean/Dean Pictures/Imago
8 / 10In contrast to pepper, allspice has a slightly burning spiciness that tastes subtle, sweet and tart and can be compared to cloves and cinnamon.
That is why allspice is a popular spice, especially during the Christmas season.
But allspice is also used to flavor foods that are difficult to digest, as it stimulates digestion and helps against loss of appetite, flatulence and stomach problems.
It is best to store allspice in a dry, cool, dark and airtight place.
© YAY Images/Imago
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9 / 10Vanilla is very versatile and is used in puddings, creams, in quark or yoghurt, but also in compotes, sauces, ice cream and hot drinks such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cocoa.
Vanilla beans are best stored in an airtight, dark and cool place (but not in the fridge) in a Tupperware box or jar.
As sugar or powder, it should also be stored in the dark and, above all, in a dry place.
However, the spice will lose its aroma after several months.
10 / 10Cinnamon sticks are often used in the run-up to Christmas for mulled wine, punch, rum drinks or sweets such as cinnamon stars.
But compote, sauces or meat dishes can also be seasoned with cinnamon.
Store cinnamon sticks in a cool, dark place, for example in well-sealed Tupperware.
The aroma is then retained for up to five years.
However, cinnamon powder loses its taste after about a year.
© Anja Cord/Imago