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These homemade speculoos cookies taste more delicious than those from the supermarket. They are crispy, crumbly, spicy and incredibly aromatic. The spiced speculaas is ideal for the Advent season. You can snack on it yourself or give it as a gift. You can find a detailed speculoos recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions here at the very bottom.
What is speculoos?
Speculoos are crispy cookies made from spiced shortbread dough. They have a rectangular flat shape with various reliefs.
Supposedly, the pastry originates from Belgium and the Netherlands. There it was made in the past for St. Nicholas Day. In the meantime, the cookies are available in Belgium and the Netherlands all year round.
Speculaas is also popular in Germany. Here it belongs to the traditional Christmas pastry.
According to one conjecture, the name “speculoos” comes from the Latin word “speculator,” which translates as “the one who sees” or “the one who watches.” This could have meant St. Nicholas.
According to another version, the word “speculoos” comes from the Latin word “speculum”, which means “mirror”. This could have referred to the mirror image of the relief in the speculoos shape.
What is the cookie dough made of?
The speculaas dough is a shortbread dough that is refined with spices. Among other things, it consists of flour, butter, brown sugar, eggs and some baking powder.
Sometimes ground almonds are added to the dough. Or the cookies are sprinkled with almond flakes. This is then an almond speculoos.
By such spices, like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, speculoos cookies get their typical taste and aroma. There are already ready-made spice mixtures for the cookies to buy.
You can buy a ready-made speculoos spice in some supermarkets or online. Alternatively, you can use a gingerbread spice for the speculoos recipe.
Instead of using a ready-made spice mix, you can prepare the speculaas dough with different spices. Cinnamon is the main ingredient of a speculoos spice mix. Also add some ground cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger. You can also mix in some white pepper and coriander.
There are various speculaas molds with different motifs. A wooden speculoos mold is very popular. You can also use a silicone speculaas mold. A rolling pin with motifs is just as suitable. I made my cookies with a speculoos roll.
But even if you don’t have a speculaas mold at home, you can still make the cookies. Just use Christmas cookie cutters for them. Or cut the dough into rectangles for square cookies.
Christmas cookies for Advent
What would Advent be without speculoos cookies?! With their irresistible scent and spicy flavor, they get you in the Christmas spirit. With the fancy reliefs, the cookies are also a sweet eye-catcher. They are also perfect for gift giving.
Make your own instead of buying
In the run-up to Christmas, the supermarket shelves are naturally overflowing with speculaas. But the cookies taste best when you make them yourself. And it’s really fun to make them yourself.
What’s more, you know what ingredients you’re using for the recipe. You can safely do without unhealthy additives, which are often contained in industrial speculoos cookies.
These speculoos cookies are
- very aromatic,
- tastier than store-bought cookies,
- easy to make with common ingredients,
- ideal as Christmas cookies,
- perfect for giving as a gift.
Simple speculoos recipe
This speculoos recipe is very simple. The shortbread dough is quick to prepare. You also need only a few common ingredients for it.
However, shaping the motif cookies takes a while. Depending on what kind of mold you use, it might take longer or shorter. But even without relief, the speculoos cookies taste delicious and are ready much faster.
How to make spiced speculaas: tips and tricks
- You can adjust the amount of sugar for the dough according to your taste.
- You can also adjust the amount of spices to your liking.
- You can use individual spices instead of the ready-made spice mix. See my notes above.
- The amount of flour given in the recipe may vary. Add flour in batches until you have a very soft dough.
- Don’t knead the dough too long, just briefly until it reaches a homogeneous consistency.
- Instead of using a speculaas roller, you can make the cookies with a wooden or silicone speculoos mold. See my tips here above.
- Do not bake the cookies longer than necessary. Also, don’t leave them unattended in the oven for too long. Otherwise, they could burn quickly. After baking, the cookies will be very soft, but will harden as they cool.
Did you make speculoos using this recipe? I look forward to your results, your star rating, and your comment below here on how you liked and succeeded with the cookies.
Looking for more cookie recipes? Try some more:
- Honey cookies with cinnamon – simple recipe for aromatic cookies
- Snowflake cookies vegan – recipe for the most tender cookies in the world
- Filled gingerbread hearts vegan – with fruity apricot jam
- Vegan cinnamon stars – the classic in the Christmas bakery without egg
- Chocolate pine cone cookies – how to make fancy pastry
Speculoos (spiced speculaas)
- speculoos roll
- 250 g butter room warm
- 230 g brown cane sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100 g ground almonds
- approx. 500 g flour
- 2 tbsp speculaas spice
- 3 g baking powder
- 1/3 tsp salt
- flour for the work surface
- Beat softened butter, brown sugar and salt for about 5 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
- Add eggs and speculaas spice and beat until homogeneous.
- Add ground almonds and mix briefly.
- Mix flour with baking powder, add it in portions to the butter mixture and knead it briefly to a very soft dough.
- Divide the dough into three pieces and chill them for 1 hour, wrapped in an airtight container.
- First, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, roll it out on a floured work surface to a thickness of about 3 mm and roll over it with a speculoos roller.
- Separate the cookies with a knife, spread them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 200 °C top and bottom heat for approx. 8 - 10 minutes. Put the leftover dough back into the fridge.
- Repeat the previous step with the other two pieces of dough and the leftover dough from the refrigerator.
- The amount of sugar for the dough you can adjust to taste.
- The amount of spices can also be adjusted as desired.
- The amount of flour indicated may vary. Add flour in portions only until a very soft dough is formed.
- Do not knead the dough too long, but only briefly until a homogeneous consistency.
- Do not bake the cookies longer than necessary. Also, do not leave them unattended in the oven for too long. Otherwise they could burn quickly. After baking, the cookies are very soft, but become harder after cooling.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the speculoos cookies at the top of the post.