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Spiced Star Cookies (Speculaas)

Author: Charlotte Bothe

Speculaas are traditionally thin, crisp, dark-brown windmill-shaped cookies that originated in the Netherlands. We believe, and our Cookie Companion is testament, that you don't need a mold to be able to enjoy these snapping crisp, delightfully spicy cookies. Try rolling out the dough and using your favorite cutters to make cookies that are just as elegant and fun.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
4 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace* (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour, toasted almond flour preferred
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk (regular or low-fat, not nonfat)
  • *Or substitute 1 tablespon speculaas spice for the cardamom, cloves, mace, and cinnamon

Icing

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' or glazing sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons milk or water

Instructions

  1. To make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, spices, and salt.
  2. Stir in the flour, almond flour, and baking powder, then enough of the milk to make a stiff dough.
  3. Form the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease, or line with parchment, two baking sheets.
  5. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Cut out shapes using your desired cutters, and transfer the cookies to the prepared pans.
  6. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until they're lightly browned around the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. As they cool, they'll become quite hard.
  7. To make the icing: Stir together the sugar and enough milk or water to create a thick but "drizzle-able" icing.
  8. Drizzle the icing atop the cookies decoratively.
  9. Yield: 4 dozen small cookies.