The Netherlands is filled with famous Dutch biscuits, but these Dutch spice cookies have to be the most well known outside the country. They are called speculaas and are sort of biscuits. Dutch windmill speculaas are delicious and pretty doable to make at home. And that is precisely why I’m bringing you this speculaas recipe.
This speculaas cookie recipe is the perfect way to make Dutch speculaas cookies in your home. Whether you’re missing The Netherlands, or are remembering fun memories from when you travelled to The Netherlands or simply want to create tasty Dutch windmill cookies, this Dutch speculaas recipe is what you’ve been searching for.
Not only will you learn the history of Dutch speculaas, but you will also be able to create your personal stash of speculaas spice mix with this recipe. A traditional speculaas mold is rather hard to find outside The Netherlands, so I recommend you to stock up on those molds at a local baking store if you find them or visit the country. But, I did find a speculaas cookie cutter that will give you a bit of the traditional shape of these spiced biscuits with cinnamon.
I hope you like this recipe for speculaas cookies and that you will enjoy eating your heart out of with these Dutch biscuits (or speculaas). I have also included a way to make a version of almond windmill cookies in this recipe to decide whether you want to follow this speculaas recipe in the regular Dutch way or want to add some tasty almonds in there.
Speculaas Cookies History
It is said that speculaas has been made since the 17th century. At that time, these speculaas windmill cookies were way too expensive for regular people to enjoy as the spices were not cheap. Amsterdam was an important city to store spices, so people here started to experiment with the combination of spices and the baking of Dutch ginger (and other spices) cookies.
People don’t know exactly where the name of speculaas comes from, but it is suspected that it has pagan roots. Others think that it refers to the Dutch word ‘speculatie’, which has several meanings, including suspicion. The speculaas was then named ‘speculatie’ as it was initially a cookie that only connoisseurs could eat. Some others think that it refers to the Dutch word for spices ‘specerij’.
The windmill spiced cookies that you can find in the Holland region and the rest of The Netherlands are made of dough that doesn’t need to expand much and has a dense structure. The dough’s temperature mustn’t increase too fast when you make the dough.
Speculaas used to be typical Dutch Christmas and Advent cookies, but nowadays, they can be found in the supermarkets all year round. But, at Dutch bakeries, you can only get them during the Christmas and Advent period. The oldest sources write that speculaas was usually eaten during weddings and at fairs. In the last few decades, people started to eat them with coffee and tea and started to incorporate the flavour into ice creams, etc.
I hope you enjoyed learning something about the windmill cookies and their history. Now, we will continue onto the reason why you’re here in the first place: the creation of Dutch spice cookies. This traditional speculaas recipe is very tasty and also shows you the speculaas spice recipe, so you always have something in your pantry.
Homemade speculaas is something everyone should make at least once in their life, and that will be relatively easy with this Dutch speculaas cookies recipe. Whether you want to make these Dutch cookies in a windmill shape or not, this is the best speculaas recipe out there.
Dutch Spice Cookies Speculaas Recipe
Speculaas spice mix
- 12 teaspoons of ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
- 3 teaspoons of ground cloves
- 1,5 teaspoon of ground coriander seed
- 1,5 teaspoon of ground anise seed
- 1,5 teaspoon of ground ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- 200 gr. Zeeuws Bloem, or pastry flour in the US (405 in Germany, 45 in France and type 00 in Italy)
- 100 gr. cold butter
- 1,5 – 2 tablespoons of speculaas spices
- +- 1- 1,5 tablespoon of milk
- 100 gr of brown sugar
- Just a bit less than 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- A bit of rice flour
- Pinch of salt
- Plastic wrap
- A bit of extra Zeeuwse flour, baking paper or butter for the baking tray
- Optional: shaved almonds
Good for around 25-30 speculaas – 2,5 hour- 24 hours preparation – 15 minutes to cook
1. Add the flour, speculaas spices, milk, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and lastly, the cold butter into a bowl.
2. Cut the cold butter in the bowl with two knives into small pieces.
3. Knead this (with a cold hand!) into a combined dough. Don’t knead it too long, but make sure it is well combined. If you knead it too long, the dough becomes ‘dead’ and will leave you ugly results during baking. You can also knead it on your counter; just make sure you have a bit of flour (the same you use for the dough) there, so it doesn’t stick.
4. Now, wrap your dough ball into plastic wrap/foil and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least two hours, but it’s best to leave it overnight in the refrigerator. This will make the dough less elastic and firmer, plus the taste of the spices will be better combined into the dough.
5. Preheat the oven at around 170 – 175 degrees Celsius.
6. Add either some flour, baking paper or butter to a baking tray. A bit of butter helps the speculaas become even crispier at the bottom.
7. If you have a special speculaasplank (that you can almost only buy in The Netherlands, so stock up on those at a local baking shop if you visit The Netherlands), then you have to place a little bit of rice flour on the plank first. Make sure to tap the excess flour off before you add in the dough.
8. Press some of the dough into the shapes and cut it off smoothly with a wire or sharp knife.
9. Then, you turn the plank around, hit it slightly on your counter to get the speculaas out. If you see that there is quite a bit of rice flour on the cookies, you can wipe that away with a soft brush. Then you will place the speculaas on your baking tray, with around two centimetres of distance from the next.
Optional: If you want to bake Dutch almond cookies, then you can add some shaved almonds on the baking tray and place your raw cookie on top of it and follow the rest of these speculaas koekjes recipe the same way, and you will have an almond speculaas recipe.
10. If you don’t have the special speculaas plank, you can also roll the dough with a rolling pin to a thickness of just a bit less than 0,5 centimetres. Then you can make Dutch spiced biscuits with your (of course, floured) shape. And then you will lay them on the baking tray as well.
11. Bake the original windmill cookies in the middle of your oven between 15 and 20 minutes. The exact time depends on every oven as well as on the thickness and size of your speculaas. So, always check in the meantime. Speculaas should not become too dark and has to stay deep golden brown. If you think it goes too fast, you need to turn the oven’s heat down immediately.
12. When the speculaas are done, take then from the baking tray and leave them cool at a grid.
If you don’t have Zeeuwse bloem or Zeeland flour at home, you can also use regular flour.
I hope you enjoyed following this recipe for Dutch spice cookies and that your house smells like delicious Dutch cinnamon biscuits. I also hope that this Dutch windmill cookie recipe was easy to follow and that you will try to make this Dutch spice cookies recipe more often than once.
Handy tools to use for this recipe
These Dutch cookies, or speculaas, are delicious. Whether you want to make almond windmill cookies or the regular speculaas cookies recipe, these Dutch cinnamon cookies come straight out of your dream.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for typical Dutch cookies and that you’ll enjoy eating these tasty Dutch speculaas cookies. And, that you’ve learned something today: from the speculaas spices to the history of this Dutch treat.
Don’t forget to share your photos of this speculaas cookie recipe you’ve made with me on Instagram @visitingthedutchcountryside and Facebook @visitingthedutchcountryside so that I can share your works of art.
Share this speculaas cookie recipe with your friends or family members who you think will love these Dutch spice cookies!
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