French Fridays with Dorie: Speculoos

Dorie Greenspan stacked speculoos on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’ve kind of saved the best (well, my personal favourite) French Fridays with Dorie recipe til last this month.  When I saw Speculoos were on the list for December, I was overjoyed. I lived in Belgium for a year as an exchange student when I was 17 and fell in love with these ginger-bready cookies that are served with coffee everywhere.

Dorie says: Speculoos are crisp brown-sugar cookies that can be big or small (I make them very small), thin or thicker (mine are medium-thin), spicy or spicier (I lean toward spicier).  In general, the predominant spice is cinnamon – indeed, some recipes I’ve seen use cinnamon alone – but a little ginger and a pinch of cloves make the cookies slightly more complex.

As far as I know, there’s no law against eating speculoos in March or June or even September, but no matter when you have them their smell will hint of Christmas and their flavor will just about exclaim it.  In fact, in their native Belgium, they are the cookie that celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, the man we know as Father Christmas, or Santa Claus.  These cookies keep really well, making them perfect to pack up in tins and give as Christmas presents.

Personally, I think they are perfect all year-round but they do scream “Holidays” and next year, now I know I can make them, I might just package them up for presents!

Since dough and I are at the beginning of our relationship, I did approach this recipe with a certain amount of trepidation.  The dough needs to rest for at least 3 hours and I left it overnight which always scares me.  However, being a Dorie Greenspan recipe, of course they turned out!  I baked a batch before Neil was awake one morning and he woke to the smell of baking speculoos – there are not many better smells to wake up to!  I had a few uneven cookies in terms of thickness – I was aiming for medium thickness ones, kind of like these ones by Lotus that accompany many a cup of coffee in Europe.


But that’s a minor point.  The majority of them were even thickness and baked properly. The super thin accidental ones were a little on the crispy side but definitely edible still.  I did not attempt anything fancy in terms of shape – simple stars as a nod to the season – but I honestly don’t think they need fancy shape when they taste this good.  For me, having dough that worked and cookies that baked evenly was a good enough start!

A few people have asked for recipes from my French Fridays with Dorie entries.  As a rule, the group does not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we would prefer it if you would purchase the book yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!).  Go on, treat yourself and join us in the new year!

This week, however, you are in luck – Dorie herself has published the recipe on her own blog so if you want to make these little beauties for yourselves, you can find the recipe here.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support this year. Your readership and comments mean the world to me and it’s been a fantastic year for eat.live.travel.write because of you.  Wishing you all health, happiness and good eats and drinks for 2011.

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57 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Speculoos

  1. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 31, 2010 at 07:23 #

    Yup, I totally agree with you these cookies are the best! I’m so happy that Dorie has the recipe on her site, I can’t wait to try these out.

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and a sweet start to 2011!

  2. Blog is the New Black December 31, 2010 at 07:42 #

    I’ve never heard of these, but they look awesome, and they sound wonderful!!!

  3. Belinda @zomppa December 31, 2010 at 09:15 #

    Looks like the beginning of a beautiful relationship. =) Have a fabulous New Year, my friend!

  4. Kate @ Diethood.com December 31, 2010 at 09:34 #

    These are awesome! I had them in Amsterdam a some time ago – we kept buying more coffee just so we could eat more speculoos! Great choice!

  5. Elizabeth December 31, 2010 at 09:54 #

    Oh my gosh I love speculoos. Glad Dorie published the recipe. I think I’m going to have to make these soon. By the way, have you ever tried speculoos spread? It’s made from ground up speculoos cookies and it is amazing.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 4, 2011 at 21:32 #

      Speculoos spread is on my list to try this year. First I gotta find it! Hopefully Dorie’s easy recipe will convince more people to join FFWD!

  6. gaaarp December 31, 2010 at 10:16 #

    Great cookies! I’d never heard of these before FFwD, but I really love them now. In fact, I’m thinking they might be great for New Year’s Eve.

    Have a safe, happy, and bakeful new year!!

  7. Lora @cakeduchess December 31, 2010 at 10:18 #

    How wonderful that Dorie shared the recipe! I loved the speculoos and I can’t wait to make again with my little bakers/kids. Yours look wonderful! I am so happy to have found you this past year and your wonderful blog. I hope to meet you one day IRL. 🙂

    Happy New Year. Buon Anno! love, your favorite “stalker”. xxoo

  8. dorie December 31, 2010 at 10:56 #

    I just pulled a batch of speculoos out of my oven in Paris! Happy New Year — Dorie

  9. StephIrey December 31, 2010 at 11:45 #

    Your cookies look great (as always)! I really loved the thinner, crisper ones, so I’d say you got an extra treat with yours! I, too, was afraid of the whole rolled dough experience, but was pleasantly surprised when my cookies turned out. Thanks for sharing your terrific blog with us! Happy New Year!!

  10. Kate at Serendipity December 31, 2010 at 13:10 #

    Many years ago when I was flying all over North America, the airlines used to put the Lotus speculos in their lunches. It was the only edible thing in there! I loved them. It was almost worth getting on a plane to have them. When I moved to Belgium and found them in the supermarket, I knew that I was home!

    Now I can’t eat them (no wheat) but I’ve found a couple of substitutes that have the same flavor and crunch. VIVA SPECULOS!

    Happy New Year to you and Mr. Neil. Bisous de la Belgique et meilleurs voeux de nous deux.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 4, 2011 at 21:29 #

      Thanks Kate and happy new year to you and Dan too! I can remember speculoos in plane lunches too!

  11. Candy December 31, 2010 at 13:42 #

    Wonderful!! I made these a few weeks ago, and sadly, they’re long gone… maybe it’s time to make a new batch.

    Glad you had fun with these – they look beautiful!

  12. Ethan December 31, 2010 at 14:01 #

    I regret not making them since you succeeded with the dough relatively easily. But since I own my own copy….
    It was a true pleasure getting to know you through your blog and on Twitter this year Mardi and I hope to meet you in 2011.
    Happy new year to you and Neil!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 4, 2011 at 21:28 #

      Oh Ethan there’s always time – you can bake whenever not just with FFWD! Hopefully we will get to meet in real life since we are so close!

  13. flourchild December 31, 2010 at 20:21 #

    These look so good! I missed this one but I will make them in 2011!!! I can’t wait!

  14. Allison December 31, 2010 at 21:42 #

    If you are only beginning your relationship with dough, I gotta say your speculoos look amazing! Absolute perfection. And I agree these are an all year cookie.

  15. Josefa December 31, 2010 at 21:58 #

    I love that you can use any cookie cutter shape with these cookies. Your photos are lovely.

  16. Becky January 1, 2011 at 01:51 #

    Great photos!! Love your stars!!

  17. Jessica January 1, 2011 at 05:33 #

    Love speculoos! Have you ever tried the spread? I did a little entry on it here http://www.jessicasdinnerparty.com/2010/12/speculoos/

    Happy New Year!!

  18. Jackie January 1, 2011 at 19:11 #

    I’m glad you put these up because they’re beautiful! You did a great job. I am so eager to get going on my Dorie book! Squee!

    Happy new year lovely, hope you have a wonderful 2011!

    Jax x

  19. Betsy January 1, 2011 at 20:48 #

    This was my favorite recipe so far from FFwD. I love your star shapes, so festive! I loved the pre-rolled dough for this recipe. It made it much easier than it seemed like it would be after pre-reading the recipe in the book. Happy New Year!!!

  20. Maddie January 1, 2011 at 22:28 #

    i just got one of dorie greenspan’s cookbooks for christmas! i’m so excited to try out the recipes. classically french. exactly what i love!

  21. Chef Dennis January 2, 2011 at 07:27 #

    what a perfect little cookie! I love Dorie and I just got that cookbook as a present to myself! Yours looks positively delicious!!
    Congrats on your top 9 today!

  22. Peggy January 2, 2011 at 09:01 #

    Simple cookies are always my favorite! I’m sure these would be a great little treat!

  23. Debbie January 2, 2011 at 11:27 #

    I have never heard of Speculoos, in fact I am sure I’m pronouncing them wrong, but they look delicious! I will have to remember these for next year!

  24. shannon buck January 2, 2011 at 12:42 #

    These look so pretty and delicious!! Congrats to you on being in Foodbuzz Top 9!!

  25. Brian @ A Thought For Food January 2, 2011 at 13:04 #

    Congrats on being #1 on the Top 9 today!!! These cookies look terrific… but when you’re working with Dorie’s recipes, how can they not be fantastic?

  26. Terra January 2, 2011 at 15:18 #

    I love your blog! And now want to become a member of French Fridays With Dorie:) Congrats on your top 9!!! These cookies sounds so delicious!

  27. Christina January 2, 2011 at 15:25 #

    These look so tasty! I love to learn about and foods from new places and can’t wait to try some of these! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Cher January 2, 2011 at 17:50 #

    It sounds like you found the secret to rolled-out dough with your overnight refrigeration. Glad they were a hit for you.

    Happy New Year.

  29. Felice - All That's Left RAe The Crumbs January 2, 2011 at 19:06 #

    I love these cookies. Congratulations on the Top 9!

  30. penny aka jeroxie January 3, 2011 at 02:28 #

    Ashame to say that I never had these before…. I guess I have to bake some to try

  31. Teresa January 3, 2011 at 02:29 #

    They turned out well! I loved how easy these were to make, their crispness and their spiciness.

    Happy New Year!

  32. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 5, 2011 at 16:52 #

    Oh my goodness… These cookies look fabulous! I would love these with coffee or tea.

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