Speculatius Cookies

Buttery, spicy speculatius cookies (related to the German spekulatius and the old Dutch speculoos) are an old-fashioned Christmas favorite.

By Yankee Magazine

Dec 13 2017


Speculatius Cookies

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming | Styling by Catrine Kelty

Speculatius cookies recipe and memories from the Brass Sisters, Marilynn and Sheila.

We’ve always been partial to a Christmas cookie with a history, such as this one from our friend Alison Kennedy. Alison’s late mother, Joan, passed this family recipe on to all of her daughters. We love that it is related to the German spekulatius and the old Dutch speculoos. The dough was sometimes stamped with images in years past, but this version is cut into shapes.


about 3 1/2 dozen cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and finely chopped in a food processor
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature


Put the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and almonds into a bowl, and whisk to combine. Set aside. Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and cream until smooth. Add the sour cream. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and mix until the dough comes together.

Remove the dough and place it onto a lightly floured sheet of wax paper. Lightly dust the dough with flour and form it into a large ball. With a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Form into two balls. Place each ball into a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roll out the dough.

When ready to bake, set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with silicone liners or lightly greased aluminum foil, shiny side up.

Place one ball of dough onto lightly floured wax paper. Sprinkle with flour, cover with another sheet of wax paper, and roll out into a rectangle, 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into shapes of your choosing, dipping the cookie cutter into flour each time. Arrange cookies about an inch apart on the baking sheets. Put any leftover scraps of dough into the refrigerator. Using a pastry brush, remove any excess flour from the cookies. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, then combine the scraps and roll out again.

Slide the foil or silicone liner with the baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool. Decorate as desired, and then store cookies between sheets of waxed paper in a covered tin.