Speculoos Cookies (aka speculaas or dutch windmill cookies) are a thin, crisp and delicously spiced cookie. Typically made to enjoy before St. Nicholas Day or around Christmastime. This recipe yields 24 to 26 cookies.
These cookies have been on my to-do list for a while now.
For years I’ve heard about Speculoos cookie butter. I wasn’t really that interested in it because I figured it would most likely turn out to be an addiction that I didn’t need. Until one random day, I did an internet search to find out what’s actually in cookie butter. That sent me down a rabbit hole, discovering that it all starts with Speculoos Cookies, a beloved childhood cookie.
When I was a kid, our grocery store (Meijer) used to sell all sorts of things in bulk bins. Bins of chocolate chips, nuts, candy and cookies. There was a particular bin for windmill cookies that my mom always bought and brought home after grocery shopping. Thin golden brown cookies pressed to resemble a windmill. And I believe they had slices of almonds pressed into them as well.
To say I loved those cookies is an understatement. My kid-self couldn’t put a finger on the flavor was (ginger? cinnamon?) all I knew is they were so good!
They still sell them, albeit not in bulk, but in my opnion they aren’t the same. Luckily, now that I can make my own.
These cookies have rich history and a few fun facts, but I’ll spare you the details (that’s what wikipedia is for!) just believe me when I say that these cookies taste like Christmas.
To Make Speculoos Cookies You Will Need:
- baking soda
- kosher salt
- ground ginger
- white pepper
- unsalted butter
- dark brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- heavy cream
NOTE: I’ve had success with this recipe written as is, however a lot of readers (who struggled getting this dough to form) added 1 egg to the dough with success!
In a medium mixing bowl, measure and add 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground clove, 1/4 teaspoon ground mace and 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper. Whisk to combine and set off to the side.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) softened unsalted butter with dark brown sugar and granulated sugar. Cream until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Next add in 1/2 of the flour/spice mixture and mix until just combined.
Add in 1/3 cup heavy cream and mix until just combined.
Lastly add the remaining half of the flour/spic mixture and mix until combined.
Transfer the Speculoos dough to a piece of plastic wrap.
Shape into a disc and wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
After chilling, unwrap the dough and cut in half. Re-wrap one half of the dough and roll out the other to 1/4-inch thickness.
Use a cookie stamp (or a roller with a design can be used) and stamp out 6 cookies. I use a biscuit cutter the same size as the stamp for clean edges.
Reshape the dough scraps and cut out 6 more cookies.
All the while, transferring the cookies to a parchment lined, rimmed metal baking sheet. Slip the pan into the freezer for 30 to 40 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Once the cookies have chilled, slip them right onto the middle rack of your preheated oven.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Perfect with tea, coffee or cocoa.
Speculoos Cookies are thin, snappy and heavenly spiced. You can serve these as is, turn them into cookie butter or ice cream even!
Perfect for the holiday season.
Enjoy! And if you give this Speculoos Cookie recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
Speculoos Cookies (Dutch Windmill Cookies)
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, (see notes)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, measure and add the flour, soda, salt and spices. Whisk to combine.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium to medium-low speed until light and creamy.
- Add half of the flour/spice mixture with the cream and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour/spice mixture and mix until no trace of flour remains.
- Form into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Before baking, divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and pop back into your fridge.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the other half of the dough 1/4 of an inch thick. Use cookie cutters or stamps to cut cookies out. Reshape scraps and stamp or cut out more cookies until you have 12.
- Place cookies onto a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet and pop into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Once the cookies have chilled, remove from the freezer and place directly into your oven. Bake on the middle rack for 14 to 18 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
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Can you please share where you got that red and white string from?
Hi E! It was gifted to me, but you can find similar string on amazon. 🙂
What could you use if you don’t have a printed rolling pin or cookie presses? I used to have a springerlie rolling pin but it sadly got broken in a move
Hi Leslie! Although traditionally these cookies are stamped or rolled with some form of a print, you could use a cookie or biscuit cutter and no stamp at all. Enjoy!
My dough is so crumbly it won’t hold together in a disk. More cream?
Yes you can add more cream!
I could probably eat my weight in these!
Could this recipe be used, as is, with ceramic cookie molds? The recipes I have found that are specifically for the mold sound very bland. These sound heavenly!
Hi Deborah! I don’t see why you couldn’t. I haven’t ever used those types of molds, so I’d love to hear how it works for you!
These look delicious! I noticed that most windmill cookies I’ve seen in the stores have almonds in them. Any thought on how and when to add them? Thanks!
Great question, Melissa! I would think you could gently press them into the cookie before they have chilled and then bake. I haven’t tested it, so I’d love to hear how this works for you!
I made these cookies in January 2021. After looking at a lot of recipes for Dutch windmill/spice cookies, Speculoos, Speculaas, and by several names, I decided to stick to this recipe to the letter with 1 exception. I didn’t have cream any heavier than half and half and it worked out just fantastically. Exactly the type of spice cookies I crave! It is to be expected, that this cookie dough is a very stiff one – so rolling it out when the dough is cold can be a challenge for a newbie baker? Since I don’t have cookie cutters/molds/stamps I just rolled it out and cut it into squares or whatever shape needed to get all the dough used. The next time I make these I will probably use the “log roll” method of forming the dough into a log before I refrigerate it overnight, then just cut circles off it for baking.
I had a VERY hard time with this recipe. Had to use 12 oz of cream to even get the dought to barely come together. It was still dry the next day so had to add more water. The dough is VERY hard to roll out when cold, and as soon as it starts to warm up it gets sticky. The cookie stamps didn’t work for us at all – didn’t press well and kept getting dough all over them. So disappointed bc they were expensive. Cookies spread A LOT while baking and have a bit of a strange texture. I will just whip up some royal icing to improve them. I tried this recipe at 9000 ft/3000 m and it just didn’t work. And I had baked 4 dozen sugar cookies and decorated them the day before, and they came out PERFECT. UNfortunately I won’t tey this recipe again. 2 stars.
I am trying to make these today. So far so good, dough is chilling. For the sugar, I used 1/2 cup of demerara, 1/2 cup of coconut sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar, since I wasn’t sure what colour the granular sugar is.
Hi E! I hope you enjoyed the cookies! Granulated sugar is just plain old white sugar. 🙂
Hi, I’m looking forward to making these! Any chance you or anyone has tried making them with Gluten Free flour? I usually use King Arthur measure for measure. Wish I didn’t have to be GF, but I do. I’d love to hear feedback on making them GF. Thank you!
I made these GF today and they are amazing! I made them with another GF flour mix, not King Arthur. I stirred in the last half of the flour with a wooden spoon instead of my electric hand mixer as it was getting stiff. No trouble getting it to stick together, no need for an egg. I didn’t have a cookie cutter or cookie mold, so i formed the dough into a log shape, wrapped in plastic wrap, chilled for an hour in the fridge. After an hour, took it out, cut slices just shy of 1/4 inch, baked on a sheet pan for 9 minutes in a 350 oven. I like my cookies a bit crisp on the outside and a bit soft in the middle. They did not spread much at all. A successful GF cookie!! YAY! Idon’t like being GF either, but it’s better than forever tummy ache 🙂
I love this recipe! The way the spices layer on each other make each mouthful delightfully rich and gently complex!
I did use egg, and I used 1/2 butter and 1/2 balance plant butter.
I think if I used all butter and no egg it may have been a little crisper, yet I really enjoy the crunch with a little bit of softness.
I plan to keep this spice blend pre-mixed to try in some of my other treats!
These were amazing! I got the dough to come together without the egg and chilled overnight. Then, I rolled the dough into golf ball sized balls and pressed my cookie stamps into it. Seemed a lot easier than rolling out first, and no wasted scrap dough!
Too many ads and pop ups!
Hey Doug! I appreciate your input on my website. May I ask if you were viewing my website on your phone or a desktop/laptop? I honestly do feel your pain with ads. However as you might not know, ads are a necessary evil in the blogging world. It’s how I get paid (because this is my full-time job) in order to run this site, and in turn, post recipes for FREE. I hope this helps shed some light 🙂
Hi! Is a stick of butter 2 cups?