Speculaas Cookies – Dutch Windmill Cookies
Speculaas Cookies, also known as Speculoos or Dutch Windmill Cookies are a traditional Dutch cookie. A favorite of many, including myself. I’ve made speculaas cookies numerous times but never mastered the art of baking these cookies in a cookie mold. I set out the to put an old speculaas mold to good use and make my own Dutch windmill cookies.
Mastering The Speculaas Cookie – Dough And Mold
I have to say, it was harder than I thought. For some reason I just couldn’t get the dough to come out of the mold and when I did manage to get them out of the mold the cookies would spread too much and lose too much of their details for me to consider them proper speculaas cookies. I tried everything, used different types and mixes of sugar, used honey, but nothing worked. Or, in all honesty, using part honey did work but I really didn’t like the taste of it, it didn’t taste like a proper speculaas cookie.
After many, and I mean MANY attempts I finally figured out the secret to getting the cookies out of the mold easily. It’s rice flour! Sprinkle some rice flour on your mold before putting the dough in and they should come out relatively easily. I also came up with a recipe for the dough that worked for me to keep as much detail as possible to the cookies without losing the flavor of the cookie. I’m excited to share the recipe with you, I hope it works just as good for you as it does for me.
How To Make Speculaas Cookies
To make the speculaas cookies you’ll need speculaas spice mix. You can make it yourself by following the recipe for speculaas spice on the website. Alternatively, you can substitute with pumpkin pie spice, which is a similar blend of spices.
For the speculaas cookies you’ll need flour, butter, milk, dark brown sugar, salt, baking powder and speculaas spice. (The full list of ingredients including measurements can be found in the recipe card below.)
Put the flour and baking powder on your work surface or in a bowl and make a little well in the middle.
In the middle of the well, add the remaining ingredients, salt, dark brown sugar, speculaas spice mix, butter and milk.
Using your hands combine all ingredients.
And knead it into a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When the dough is ready you can roll out the dough on a floured work surface and use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Or, if you have a speculaas cookie mold, you can take your mold and dust it with rice flour.
Press the speculaas dough into the mold. Make sure you firmly press it to ensure all the details will be copied to the cookie.
Trim off the edges.
Take a piece of sewing thread or other thin piece of string, I used a piece of fishing wire, and use it to scrape off the excess dough. Make sure you have the string running tightly against the wood, underneath the excess dough on top.
Roll off the excess dough. You’ll be left with a cookie mold that’s filled with cookie dough.
Turn the mold over and give it one, or more firm taps to let the cookies fall out of the mold. It took me a few times to get this to work, but practice makes perfect, and using the rice flour helps a lot.
You’ll end up with cookies like this. If needed you can use a soft brush to brush off some of the rice flour. Put the cookie on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes.
If all goes well they will look a little like this. Don’t they look cute??
The windmill is my favorite one 🙂
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||15 minutes|
|Passive Time||30 minutes|
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 250 g
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp Speculaas Spice Mix
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 150 g
- 2/3 cup butter 150 g
- 3 tbsp milk lukewarm
- Put the flour and baking powder on your work surface or in a bowl and make a little well in the middle. In the middle of the well, add the remaining ingredients, salt, dark brown sugar, speculaas spice mix, butter and milk.
- Using your hands combine all ingredients and knead it into a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
- When the dough is ready you can roll out the dough on a floured work surface and use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Or, if you have a speculaas cookie mold, you can take your mold and dust it with rice flour. Press the speculaas dough into the mold. Make sure you firmly press it to ensure all the details will be copied to the cookie. Trim off the edges.
- Take a piece of sewing thread or other thin piece of string and use it to scrape off the excess dough. Make sure you have the string running tightly against the wood, underneath the excess dough on top. Roll off the excess dough. You'll be left with a cookie mold that's filled with cookie dough.
- Turn the mold over and give it one, or more firm taps to let the cookies fall out of the mold. If needed you can use a soft brush to brush off some of the rice flour.
- Place the speculaas cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Please note that the cup measurements in this recipe are approximate. I have added cups for those that prefer using cups. The recipe is most accurate using weights measurements.
- You can substitute speculaas spice with pumpkin pie spice
- You can make your own Speculaas spice mix following the recipe on this site.
A postscript, Rachel:
I DID make my own speculaaskruiden (speculaas spice) mix after much research from other Dutch-American and Dutch language sites, analyzing the ratios and kinds of spices combined. Then, on excel spreadsheet, I converted what I had to convert for uniform measure and used multipliers to come up with a jar of the mix (rather than a few teaspoons)…
So, I got THAT far into this process. I just need to know how to handle that cookie mold!
Ik ben een Amerikaan ven geboorte, maar van Nederlandse (Rotterdam) ouders, dus hier op van nu aan, tekst ik hier in engels, oké? In English, I am an American by birth, but from Dutch (Rotterdam) parents, therefore from now on I will text here in English, okay?
I finally found, a year to a year and a half ago, two speculaas molds. I tried using them, but was very frustrated witht he fragile outcome of the dough from the molds. Yes, they’re floured up. Even if they “pop out” from bagning the mold on the table so hard (I afraid of breaking either the table or the mold), I can’t pick then up to transfer to the cookie sheet…EVEN WITH A FISH SPATULA! How can i make this easier and “funner” to do? I found myself using just a round cookie cutter. But, of course, that is not the authentic windmill look or shape for thse who want to “ooh and aah” at the cookies when presented. So, how to do that please without the aggravation and feeling of defeat?
Dankuwel in voorraad voor het antwoord (Thank you in adavnce for the answer)
I understand your frustration completely. It took me many times as well before I figured out what works for me as well. For me the game changer was using rice flour to dust the cookie molds with. Since I’ve been using this I’ve had no trouble getting the dough out. Another tip I got from a baker was to make the dough a few days in advance, he said that that would help the dough get out easier as well. He never dusts his molds but he also uses his molds often so they’re ‘worked in’.
I will try the rice flour…
BTW, the speculaasbrokken recipe is great!!! Found that one, too!
(Anyone who might read this, here’s that recipe from Rachel):
Hi Henk, thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the Speculaasbrokken recipe. I hope the rice flour works for you as well!
cant wait to try these!
I have trouble keeping the design. It spreads and looses the detail. I tried everything and even called some Dutch bakeries in Holland. Mich and Pella, Iowa. Finally. I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe. She gets them out of the molds, puts them on a cookie sheet and freezes them for 30 min., then bakes. Works great…if you have that kind of room in your freezer. I have very limited freezer space.
Keeping the design is always hard with these cookies. That’s the reason why I like to chill my dough in the fridge. When I do that I notice that the detail still fades a bit but it’s very similar to the cookies I buy at the store, they don’t have a super crisp design either.
You can indeed also put them in the freezer for a bit, but like you, I don’t always have the space for that. You can also use honey instead of sugar but I find the taste just isn’t like a proper Speculaas cookie should be.
You need ‘weak’ flour with low ash and low protein. Weath grown in cold rainy climates like Holland are less quality than durum , hard weaths . Not good for bread but ideal for cookies . All Purpose can be used but not ideal. You need Pastry flower, AKA 404 or 45 or 00 or ‘Zeeuwsed Bloem” is the one you need.
I have read that, in order for the cookies to keep their details, the baking sheet should be put into the fridge for a while, so that the dough is really cold before it is put into the oven. Did you try this?
I always chill my dough at least 30 minutes before rolling for that same reason. I’ve also put the baking sheet in the fridge as well before baking which helps a bit with keeping the shape. I usually do that when it’s really warm and the dough is getting soft quickly. I chill them again if needed.
Where can you buy the cookie mold ?
I found mine on a Dutch flea market. You can try and check Amazon for cookie molds https://www.amazon.com/s?k=speculaas+mold&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
weekendbakery.com is where I bought mine.
Absolutely beautiful! I made these tonight and they taste exactly like the speculaas I’ve had before. Thank you for posting this recipe up! 🙂
You’re welcome 🙂 I’m happy to hear the recipe worked out for you 😀
Hi! Do you know how many cookies approximately come out with this amount of ingredients? Thanks! ?
Use confectioner’s sugar to stop cookies from sticking to the mold in stead of the rice flour.
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, confectioners’ sugar didn’t work for me, but if it works for you, you should definitely continue using it 🙂
Sorry, I read again and found out that the answer is 40 ?
Glad to hear that you found the answer ?