One of my all-time favorite cookies are Belgian Biscoff cookies. They are SO GOOD! When my husband picked up this holiday cookie cookbook at the library for me, this recipe immediately caught my eye. These Northern European spice cookies are called Speculaas in the Netherlands, Speculoos in Belgium, and Spekulatius in Germany.
This recipe for Dutch Spice Cookies was adapted from Christmas Cookies: 50 Recipes to Treasure for the Holiday Season by Lisa Zwirn. It was recommended to use a diamond-shaped cookie cutter with fluted edges, but I made Christmas trees for the occasion! (Any other shape would truly make them seasonless.) The dough had an ideal texture and rolled and cut like a dream. 🙂 I am going to make them again for sure- and will (at least) double the recipe next Christmas. I may also have to get the traditional cookie cutter.
Yield: Makes about 50 (2 1/2-inch diameter) cookies
For the Cookie Dough:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice (or cloves) (I used freshly ground allspice)
- 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest (I used the zest of 1 lemon)
For the Egg Wash & Topping:
- 1 egg white whisked with 2 tsp water until frothy
- sliced almonds, to taste
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice in a medium bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy.
- Beat in the egg, then the lemon zest.
- With the beaters on low-speed, mix in the flour mixture until throughly combined.
- Gather the dough in to a ball, then divide it in half.
- Shape each half into a disk and wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (I refrigerated the dough overnight.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees on convection. Line 2 rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness.
- Using a diamond, square, or round cookie cutter measuring about 2 1/2-inches in diameter, cut the dough and arrange on the prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart. (I refrigerated the cut dough overnight prior to baking.)
- Reroll the scraps and repeat.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash over the tops of the cookies.
- Press a few almonds onto the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned around the edges and the almonds are golden. (The cookies will crisp up as they cool.)
- Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
Note: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
One Year Ago:
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We make speculoos in Northern France too (they are very thin and rectangular), and they are usually served with coffee, year round. I don’t know a café in Lille that doesn’t serve them with hot drinks. They are delicious! Love them, especially when home-made.
I need to eat them year round as well. 😉 I really limit my Biscoff purchases because my entire family gobbles them up!
Try to save a few to crumble them over some Greek yoghurt with mulled pears: I’m sure you’ll love it. I used “kruidnootjes” in my recipe and they are basically small speculaas cookies from the Netherlands.
What a fabulous idea! I will have to check out your post ASAP as well.
Any cookie with ginger and cinnamon would be a hit in my mind! They look fabulous. 🙂
Thank you so much!! I really loved this dough- it had a beautiful texture and consistency.
Zero willpower around speculaas and yours look amazing Josette!
me too… ZERO willpower! Thanks so much, Johanne. 🙂
What a beautiful and tasty looking forest 🙂
I wish I had mentioned that it was a forest! How cute! 🙂 Thanks, Yana.
Love how your Speculaas came out Josette 😀
Thank you!! I love how yours had the beautiful imprint. They are one of the best cookies out there- don’t you think? 😉
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