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 because of you.  Wishing you all health, happiness and good eats and drinks for 2011.

57 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Speculoos”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!

  4. 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

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!


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