Dutch Speculaas Spices Cookies (the Best Dutch Christmas Cookies) - International Desserts Blog - Recipes with a sprinkle of travel
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Dutch Speculaas Spices Cookies (the Best Dutch Christmas Cookies)

Made with fragrant Dutch speculaas spice, these delicious cookies deserve a spot on your holiday baking tray! Included in this recipe are two ways to make speculaas spice cookies – thin and crispy or soft and chewy. Enjoy! 

 

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A while back I shared how to make Dutch speculaas spice mix, as well as five ideas for how to use it in your holiday baking (like adding it to chocolate chip cookies, waffles, scones…yum, so good!). I also shared my recipe for Speculaas Spice Muddy Buddies, which gives an old favorite a tasty international twist. 

Wait, what’s speculaas spice mix? It’s a traditional blend of spices that smell like Christmas in several parts of Europe! (You’ll see it as speculoos in Belgium and spekulatius in Germany.) This mix includes:

  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • aniseed
  • white pepper
  • coriander
  • ginger
  • cardamom 
  • mace

I make up a jar of this spice mix each year and keep it in my cupboard to use throughout the holiday season. Even though I add speculaas spice to things like waffles and chocolate chip cookies, one of my favorite ways to use this fragrant holiday spice mix is in traditional speculaas spice cookies! These cookies are simple and easy to make but oh so good. To me they taste like Christmas in Europe.

I’m going to show you how to make Dutch speculaas spice cookies two ways. The first way is thin and crunchy, and the second is soft and chewy. Both are perfect for your holiday baking tray! 

Many people enjoy these cookies at Christmas but they’re tasty all winter long, especially with a cup of hot tea or coffee. And the fragrant spice mix will make your house smell so good and feel all nice and cozy while they’re baking. Plus, they’re egg free,  can be made with or without almonds, and aren’t too sweet. 

I made my cookies two different ways. For the first batch – the thin and crispy ones – I used cookie cutters to cut out rounds (and a few stars). Then, I pressed almonds into the tops of the cookies. You could leave them plain, add a sprinkle of raw sugar or even add a drizzle of icing. If you have a traditional speculaas cookie mold (and the patience) you could use that. I don’t have one yet so I used cookie cutters.

For the second batch – the soft and chewy ones – I simply rolled the dough into balls and baked them. After letting them cool for a few minutes, I then dusted the tops with powdered sugar.   

I thought I’d prefer one version over the other but I really can’t decide which one I like better! I just asked my husband which one he preferred and he said the exact same thing. It’s easy to make both – just divide the dough in half – so that way I don’t have to decide.  

What You Need to Make Speculaas Spice Cookies 

  • mixing bowl
  • spoon
  • stand or hand mixer
  • cookie cutters or speculaas cookie mold
  • cookie sheet (this one is my favorite)
  • silpat mat (I use this one) or parchment
  • cooling rack
  • spatula
  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • milk
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • speculaas mix (click here for the recipe or buy it here on Amazon)
  • orange zest (optional)
  • sliced almonds (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional)

How to Make Speculaas Spice Cookies 

I’m going to show you how to make both cookie versions. First up is the thin and crunchy cookies.

First mix the flour, speculaas mix, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. You can get the speculaas spice mix recipe here or you can buy it here on Amazon.

Beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. I like to do this in my stand mixer but a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl will work, too.

Mixing on low, slowly add the flour to the butter. Add the orange zest (optional), then add the milk one tablespoon at a time. You might only need 1 or 2 tablespoons. You just want enough so that a dough forms. 

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Overnight is optimal to the let the flavors meld.

When you’re ready to make the cookies, roll out the dough on a floured surface using a rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick (I always do this on my trusty marble pastry slab).

Using a round cookie cutter (or whatever shape you want to use, I also used a star shape), cut out your cookies. I used vintage cookie cutters passed down to me by my grandmother and mother-in-law. 🙂 

I found it easiest to pull the extra dough away from the cut cookies before transferring the cookie rounds to the baking tray. 

Place cookies on a baking tray and then press sliced almonds onto the top of the cookies. If you want nut-free cookies, you could sprinkle raw sugar on top or colorful holiday sprinkles. 

Bake cookies at 350F for about 10-12 minutes or until edges are crispy. The cookies will get crispier and more flavorful as they cool. 

Ok, now for the soft and chewy version! Follow the steps I described above through chilling the dough in the fridge. When you’re ready to make the cookies, take the dough out of the fridge, roll into balls (use about a Tbsp of dough for each), and place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, and then dust with powdered sugar. 

Dutch Speculaas Spices Cookies

Dutch Speculaas Spices Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Featuring fragrant Dutch speculaas spice, these delicious cookies can be made thin and crispy or soft and chewy. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp speculaas spice mix
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temp)
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • sliced almonds (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional, for dusting the tops of the cookies)

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and speculaas spice mix in a small bowl.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add flour and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Add orange zest (optional).
  5. Add milk one tablespoon at a time. Use just enough so that a dough forms.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour (overnight is optimal) to let the flavors meld.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  8. To make the thin and crunchy cookies, roll out dough on floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut cookies using your favorite cookie cutters (or traditional speculaas cookie mold) and then transfer to a lined baking sheet. Add sliced almonds, raw sugar or sprinkles to the top of each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are crispy. Cookies will get crispier and more flavorful as they cool.
  9. To make the soft and chewy cookies, roll dough into balls, transfer to a lined baking tray, and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

You can make homemade speculaas spice using this recipe or you can buy some here on Amazon.

 

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