These spiced Dutch cookies are a holiday favorite, with each bite carrying the aromatic essence of the season. Whether you're savoring these cookies with a warm cup of tea or sharing them with loved ones, Speculaas is more than a recipe–it's a heartwarming tradition waiting to be savored. With a warm, spicy flavor, they’re perfect for the holiday season, especially St. Nicholas Day, but can be enjoyed year-round.
In the Netherlands, these cookies are shaped with intricately carved molds. This is a simplified version that requires no mold.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cream together until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until blended.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour and cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and baking soda. Then whisk in the salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, one up at a time, until just incorporated and dough forms.
- Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and scrape the dough onto it, shaping it into a log. Wrap the log in the plastic wrap, and using the palms of your hands flatten the log until it is about 15 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. Refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with and helps the cookies hold their shape during baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Traditional speculaas cookies use molds that feature windmill or Sinterklaas designs. In order to simply things, you can simply cut the dough into ¼ inch think slices using a sharp knife.
- Place the cookies on the baking sheets, spacing them evenly. If desired, drag the tines of a fork lengthwise to form lines.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes, until firm to the touch and the cookies turn a golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Now is a great time to begin curating recipes to develop into your own Christmas traditions. Sonlight has some simple recipe cards where you can record your favorites and create your own Christmas Cookie Collection.