Speculoos (Belgian spice cookies)

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I get excited about cookies on flights. Yes, I admit it. I can pack all the snacks I want at home for my flight, but the novelty of airline food intrigues me, even when it’s not good. But these airline cookies I’m about to talk about? These cookies are gangbusters.

I’m talking here about the Biscoff cookie. If you had it, you might just remember it, too, ’cause these cookies are no peanuts, no pretzels in difficult-to-open packs. They are these delicious, crispy, spicy, sweet Biscoff cookies, (aka speculoos or Belgian spice cookies). Friends and enemies, since this post is turning out to be confession time, let me say this: I am obsessed with these cookies.

Biscoff cookies are available on Delta flights, or, you can find them at Amazon.com or at Cost World Plus. OR, you could try your hand at making your own.

They dramatically increase my mood (read: blood sugar) when I’m on a flight that seems in danger of never ending. I can only pretend to sleep so long, and no, I will not watch your free episode of Two and a Half Men. The first time I ate them I was shocked at how tasty they were, and then sad that I had scarfed them down. Next time I got one, I was a little better in my savoring skills. And the third time? I saved the package because I had to look up these cookies, I had to dissect them, find how I could approximate the recipe for myself at home.

A clone army of the Biscoff Belgian spice cookie!

Yes, I want to dissect these cookies and reassemble them, in the manner of one Dr. Frankenstein, into a delicious, crisp spice cookie man. What’s it to you?

More Biscoff cookies...I've almost eaten the whole package myself.

I've almost eaten the whole package by myself.

The secret is the correct blend of spices. Just cinnamon and they’re just cinnamon shortbread. But throw in a variety of ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg? Well, you’re getting somewhere. The second secret? The baking soda and baking powder combination. These cookies have to be crisp but not crunchy, tender, but not soft. Baking ammonia might actually be an even better ingredient to have (in which case, use a 1/2 teaspoon of that instead of the 1/4 teaspoons of powder and soda), but the baking ammonia is difficult to find in grocery stores, and the smell it produces while baking might not be your cup of tea.

Baking time is also important, though it is more important that you not overbake them, since soft cookies are still at least edible.

You can't just eat one.

Belgian Spice Cookies (Speculoos), aka, a clone of a Biscoff cookie

Ingredients

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp.¬† vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl mix together flour, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves), baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large separate bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer, low speed. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture until it is well combined.
  5. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch-thickness. From here, you can either bake it as a large sheet of cookie to cut later, or, you can use cookie cutters to make cookie shapes.
  6. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  7. If you choose to bake it as a large sheet, bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut out cookies to shape as desired.
  8. If you choose to bake it as shapes, place dough shapes onto parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Cook on cooling rack before serving. These are best once they have cooled.
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17 Responses to “Speculoos (Belgian spice cookies)”

  1. Tim Says:

    My ice cream book (Perfect Scoop) has a recipe for Lemon-Speculoos Ice Cream. I liked it a lot. The creamy lemon taste and the cookie spice flavor worked well together. It has the potential to become my winter flavor.

  2. Heavenly Housewife Says:

    THis is a great favourite of mine too. I have bookmarked your recipe and hope to try it soon.
    *kisses* HH

  3. Recipe Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    […] speculoos (belgian spice cookies) […]

  4. Karen Kaye Says:

    One word: “Yum.”

  5. Dani Says:

    I had a real problem trying to roll these out..wondering if I am missing a step?

    • Rice Says:

      I’d recommend refrigerating the dough and working with it in chunks (keeping part of the dough refrigerated while you work). I find that the warmer the dough, the harder it is to cut out shapes, so keeping the dough cool is key. If it gets sticky, try rolling it between pieces of parchment paper or even plastic wrap.

  6. ki Says:

    Hello,
    I cam across this site whilst looking for the translation of allspice into French (Quatre epices) and thought I could share the recipe given to me by a Belgian friends grandmother. It is a very basic recipe and every Belgian grandmother probably has something similar. Understand that this is for Speculoos cookies and not the thin dry typical Lotus type biscuits (similar to the ones above in the article).

    60 speculooses;

    1250g self-raising flour
    1kg brown sugar the darker he better
    6 eggs mixed (room temp)
    500g butter melted (room temp or 30 secs -+ in microwave)
    250g almonds
    Special powder 2 heaped soup spoons

    (1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves (this is quite powerful, vary according to taste))

    OR (this is the recipe I use) change quantities to suit taste
    I use a little less nutmeg and aniseed.
    1 soup spoon (or proportion there of) of ;
    powdered ginger
    powdered aniseed
    ground cinnamon
    1 tea spoon of ;
    powdered clove and powdered nutmeg

    30 speculooses;

    750g self-raising flour
    500g sugar
    3 eggs
    250g butter
    1 heaped soup spoon of powder

    I add almonds to the dough and a few on top as decoration.
    Mix dry ingredients then liquid ones. Mix well.
    Once mixed roll into a big sausage and wrap in cling-film
    and let rest in the fridge for 24hrs, or in freezer for a few hours.
    Cut the sausage into +-1Cm disks, take off cling-film.
    Put on grease proof paper, not touching. They will ‘melt’ a bit.
    160 deg C in a pre-heated oven. Depending on the thickness
    you cut the sausage 15-16 mins max .You want to have very soft
    cookies, they will get harder on cooling. Let cool for at least 15mins.
    You can add chocolate, raisins, nuts etc to the dough.
    If yours are too dry, break up into bits, add to ice cream.
    use imagination!!
    enjoy
    =)

  7. Susan Gainen Says:

    I can’t wait to make these…..

  8. Jonni Rice-deGroot Says:

    Wonderful to see someone as obsessed as myself. Found your recipe after retrieving my Alaskan Airline snack from my purse and hitting the web. So glad I didn’t have to create the recipe from trial and error. Thanks

  9. Susan Gainen Says:

    Hi Lynda — yes, they work in slice and bake mode, and they are addictive. I want to add even more candied ginger.

  10. TinyPliny Says:

    I don’t use baking powder and don’t have it at hand. How much should I increase the baking soda to compensate?

    Also do you think a 1:1 complete substitution of butter with applesauce might work?

  11. Angie F Says:

    Made these cookies today, and they are divine. And addictive. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Hannah Says:

    Wow, I made these tonight and they were absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe! I did half of the batch as gluten-free, substituting a mixture of GF all purpose flour and almond flour, and they turned out even better than the regulars. Yum! Thanks!

  13. Kate Says:

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU! This dough also makes a KILLER crust for pumpkin pie! After I made the dough, I saw it was the same consistency as my pie crust (almost) so I used it as the bottom crust for my fresh pumpkin pumpkin pie. My husband loves it so much we can a) never use canned pumpkin again and b) can never use regular pie crust for it! Since I had way more dough than 1 pie shell needed, i did cut out some cookie shapes with my mini cutters, baked them up & also placed them decoratively on top of the cooked pie as it cooled. They melded into the top of the pie and even cut beautifully when I cut the pieces. I’ve never heard of Biscoffs, but thanks to you, I know I adore them!!! These will also become our new favorite Christmas Cookie give-away as well!

  14. Paul Smith (@amipowinc) Says:

    I made these today, and the texture was just right! I’m not sure if it was this or not, but I used aluminum-free baking soda.

  15. Sprell Paragon Says:

    I just made these–SO AMAZING! I re-blogged about them and linked it to you, since I got the recipe from you. Thank you so much, those are truly delicious! I think I’ll make more for this year’s Christmas presents!

  16. Galletitas especiadas con azucar rubia | Cookie Sundays Says:

    […] aproveche la ocasion para probar una receta de galletitas especiadas que encontre en el blog¬†Matzo and Rice. Se supone que estas galletitas tienen una similitud con las galletitas Speculoos, unas galletitas […]

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