When it comes to the holidays, there’s just something about European cookies, decorations, and desserts that bring such a magical feel to the Christmas season. These Speculoos cookies are a wonderful European Christmas cookie that is so easy to make at home, and everyone loves them. Read below for the recipe.
After visiting Belgium and the Netherlands in 2019, I really wanted to make a delicious cookie recipe that reminded me of my trip. 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 is the same type of cookie. Trader Joe’s also has some excellent speculoos cookies (aren’t all of their sweets good?).
But of course, what’s the fun of buying European cookies when you can make them, right? This recipe was inspried by the Milk Street speculoos cookie recipe, 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 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.
Do You Need Special Molds to Make Speculoos?
No, you definitely do not. Speculoos and speculaas cookies are often made with windmill cookie cutters, dutch people cookie cutters, or square or rectangle cookie cutters.
Pastry Made is an amazing rolling pin engraving company based in Poland, and the quality of their rolling pins is unmatched by other companies.
Since the pins are made of high quality wood in Poland by a Polish family, you don’t have to worry about where the rolling pins come from and if they are safe (which they most certainly are food safe).
I always cringe when kitchen tools come from China because you never know if they are really safe to use on food, so stay away from Chinese made rolling pins.
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 speculoos cookie 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.
4 Tips for Making the Best Belgian Speculoos Cookies
1. Use Cool Butter
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.
2. Use Cake Flour
Do not substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour in 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.
3. Use Scalloped Cookie Cutters
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 cutting tool would also work nicely.
4. Add Caramel
The original recipe calls for dark corn syrup, but traditionally a Speculoos cookie recipe has caramel flavor, so I opted for the optimal caramel flavor by making and using caramel sauce. It is super fast, but if you don’t want to, you can always use store bought caramel sauce.
How to Roll and Cut these Cookies
If you are using an engraved rolling pin, follow these directions.
- First, roll out the dough with a smooth rolling pin until the dough is 1/4 inch thick.
- Next, use an engraved rolling pin and roll over the dough to imprint the design.
- 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.
Speculoos Cookie Recipe
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 17 minutes
- Total Time: 47 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 dozen cookies 1x
- Category: Cookies
For Belgian Speculoos Cookies
- 170 g unsalted butter, slightly soft but still cold (12 Tbs)
- 200 g light brown sugar (1 cup)
- 1 Tbs water
- 3 Tbs caramel sauce
- 310 g cake flour (2 1/4 cups)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt (Morton’s)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
To Make Speculoos Cookies
- Make caramel sauce first and cool in fridge.
- 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.
- In a bowl, mix 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 1/4 inch thick, trying to keep the dough in the shape of a rectangle as much as is possible. Next, roll over the dough with engraved rolling pin if using (if not using an engraved rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/8 inch so it’s ready for cutting).
- Cut out 2 inch cookies and transfer to sheet pans, and 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 was inspired by Milk Street.
Keywords: speculoos cookies, caramel sauce