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German Spice Cookies - Recipe for Spekulatius - Spice Cookies From Wooden Molds

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Spekulatius - German Spice Cookies

Spekulatius - German Spice Cookies


Spekulatius cookies are traditional Christmas spice cookies in Germany, although in the Netherlands and the US they are available all year long as "Dutch Windmill Cookies". Spekulatius is related to the Latin word "speculum", meaning mirror. Since the cookies are formed in a bas relief carved wooden mold, a mirror image of the mold becomes the cookie. These Gewürzspekulatius have typical spices in them. Let the dough sit overnight for best flavor.

Makes about 8 dozen, 2-inch cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes


  • 1 1/4 c. sugar (250 grams)
  • 1 T. vanilla sugar (about 10 grams)
  • 14 T. butter (200 grams)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/4 c. flour (500 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp. baker's ammonia or 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (single acting, can use double acting)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. clove
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom


Cream sugars and butter well. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Sift or mix flour with baking powder, salt and spices. Stir into creamed mixture until stiff dough forms.

Form dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two or more hours (overnight is great).

Oil and flour a Spekulatius mold. Tap out all excess flour.

Roll a golf ball size piece of dough between your lightly floured hands into an egg shape. Press the dough into the mold, filling all crevices.

Use a sharp knife or piece of kitchen twine to cut off excess dough, so dough is flush with mold. Tap the mold on the counter to release the cookie, or use a sharp knife to start the release of cookie.

Carefully place the cookie on a cookie sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.

If this process becomes to onerous, or you do not own any cookie molds, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick (2-3 millimeters) and cut out cookies using your favorite cookie cutters.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies brown slightly around the edges.

These cookies can be decorated like conventional sugar cookies, but the old-fashioned mold imprints should not be overshadowed, nor the delicate flavor of the dough.

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