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When it comes to the holidays, there’s just something about Old World European cookies, decorations, and desserts that bring such a magical feel to the Christmas season.
After visiting Belgium and the Netherlands last year, I have been hoping to make a delicious cookie recipe this Christmas season that would remind me of that fun adventure. And this speculoos cookie recipe is the perfect recipe to celebrate both countries, as there are versions in both the Netherlands and Belgium.
What is Speculoos?
Speculoos is a traditional Belgian spiced cookie. In Holland, they are known as Speculaas, but the cookie is basically the same. You can find Biscoff speculoos cookies at the store, which are the same types of cookies as well.
But of course, here at Baker Street Society, we always take on the challenge of making desserts from scratch. This recipe is an adaption from Milk Street, and it is insanely delicious!
These cookies are crunchy, so don’t expect a super soft interior. They are meant to be crisp, and they go well with a glass of milk or some hot chocolate.
This speculoos cookie recipe is packed with fragrant spices and a touch of caramel to create an amazing flavor. It’s perfect for Christmas time when you need that perfect cookie for a cookie swap or for a neighbor Christmas gift idea.
To Chill or Not to Chill the Dough?
Do you hate chilling cookie dough? Sometimes it would be nice to skip this step, but it’s there for a reason!
We chill this dough so that the butter has time to firm up for a few minutes. By doing so, these speculoos cookies spread less during baking.
Allowing the cookies to keep their shape is especially important when you cut the cookies into cute designs that can become misshapen if they spread.
These cookies only need 15 minutes to chill the fridge, so don’t skip this step.
Tips for Making Belgian Speculoos Cookies
- Use butter that is cool to the touch, but soft enough to make an indentation. Using butter that is completely room temperature will cause the cookies to spread too much. Cold butter helps the cookies keep a tighter structure.
- Do not substitute all-purpose flour for these cookies. They need a lower protein content so that they are not rock hard. Cake flour also gives the cookies a slightly lighter texture that is really enjoyable.
- While you can use any sort of cookie cutter, I recommend keeping the cutter within a 2 inch diameter so that you don’t have to adjust the baking time too much. These are the cutters I use, but a fluted cutter would also work nicely.
- The original recipe calls for dark corn syrup, but traditionally a Speculoos cookie recipe has caramel flavor, so we opt for the optimal caramel flavor by making caramel sauce. It is super fast, but if you don’t want to, you can always use store bought caramel sauce.
Cutting and Prepping the Cookies
- Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness on a well-floured surface. Flour the rolling pin as well.
- Cut cookies into 2 inch squares or circles with scalloped edges.
- Transfer to 2 half sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
- Chill in fridge for 15 minutes, and then bake for 14-17 minutes at 350 degrees.
- 12 Tbs unsalted butter, slightly soft but still cold
- 1 cup light brown sugar (218 grams)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 3/4 tsp allspice
- 2 Tbs granulated sugar
- 2 2/3 cup cake flour(320 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 Tbs water
- 2 Tbs caramel sauce
- Cream butter, brown sugar, and salt in a mixer on low speed to combine. Scrape bowl and turn mixer to medium high; mix for 5 minutes until butter and sugar are light, pale, and fluffy.
- While butter and sugar are mixing, combine the cinnamon, coriander, and allspice. Take 3/4 tsp of the spice mixture and mixer it with the 2 Tbs sugar. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix remaining spices with cake flour, cloves, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Turn the mixer down to medium low after the butter and sugar are light and fluffy and add the water and caramel sauce.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and mix one more time to incorporate caramel.
- Add flour mixture and mix until all ingredients are combine.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Generously flour a pastry mat or counter, and knead the dough a few times to bring it together. Cut dough in half, wrap one half in plastic, and place the other half on the floured surface.
- Roll until dough is 1/8 inch thick, trying to keep the dough in the shape of a rectangle as much as is possible.
- Cut out 2 inch cookies and transfer to sheet pans. If desired, make another scalloped impression on the cookies with another cutter that is slightly smaller than the 2 inch cutter. This is completely optional, but very pretty.
- Dock cookie in the middle to help prevent air bubbles, and then sprinkle with the spiced sugar mixture.
- Place half sheet pans in fridge for 15 minutes, and then bake cookies one tray at a time for 14-17 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
- Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy. These cookies are crisp and delicate when finished. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
This recipe has been adapted from Milk Street. In the episode from Milk Street when they make these cookies, they use a rectangle cutter, but it doesn’t matter what shape the cookies are as long as they are around 2 inches.
Keywords: dutch speculaas cookies, belgian speculoos cookies, speculoos cookie recipe, biscoff cookie recipe