Nick's Speculaas Cookies


A spiced dough is placed in a carved wooden mold and turned out in these Dutch and Belgian cookies. Recipe courtesy of pastry chef and cookbook author Nick Malgieri.


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar

  • cup milk or water


  1. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, ginger, cloves, and white pepper. Stir well to combine.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and brown sugar on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce to low speed, and beat in half of the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

  3. Beat in milk; then add the remaining flour mixture. Continue to beat until a firm dough forms. Shape dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap dough in plastic, and chill it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place racks in upper and lower third of the oven. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

  5. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Dab mold all over with a small piece of dough; this provides a light buttery coating that will prevent sticking. Generously sprinkle mold with flour, tapping to remove any excess. Take a piece of dough that is roughly the same size as the mold, and press it with the palm of your hand into the mold. With a long thin knife, scrape away excess dough. Invert the mold over the baking sheet, and rap the far end of the mold against the pan, holding it at an angle to release the formed cookie. Use a paring knife to trim any excess dough. Reflour the mold, and repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Press together scraps of trimmed dough, and chill to prepare them for molding.

  6. Bake cookies until firm and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Slide parchment paper from each baking sheet to a rack to cool. Cookies may be stored between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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