A holiday tradition in Holland (“windmill cookies”), Belgium, Northern Germany, and Scandinavia. They can printed with Springerle molds that are of a low and even depth.

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup softened butter, preferably unsalted
  • 2 cups brown sugar (spooned, not packed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, cloves, ginger, cardamon, and mace
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
  • shaved or sliced almonds for undersides and milk for tops

Cream butter and brown sugar together; add egg, almonds, then salt and flavor ingredients, and finally work in flour. Add 4-6 tablespoons milk to make a stiff dough. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes. Roll, print and cut out as in general directions, or if you have Speculaas molds — prepare by spraying with non-stick spray or oiling and wiping off excess (done once for the whole batch).

Flour molds (for every use), knocking out excess. Press dough into mold, then cut excess dough off flush with back of mold with a wire or knife. Unmold carefully onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheet which is sprinkled with the shaved almonds. Brush with milk. No drying is needed before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Yield 30-90 cookies depending on size.

* Note: If you seem to have some “fading” of pattern during baking try chilling the molded cookies a few minutes before baking.