By in Food

Dutch Windmill Cookies: St. Nicholas Treats

When I was a little girl my mother would always buy a bag of mixed cookies when she did her grocery shopping. Her favourites were these flat spiced cookies in the shape of a windmill. I always just thought they were some kind of ginger snap, but they are actually a Dutch cookie called Speculaas .

The name probably comes from the wooden molds used to shape the cookies. Each cookie is the mirror image of the mold; the Latin speculum means “mirror.”

The cookies are thin and crisp, and don't rise much during baking. They are flavoured with a mixture of spices that includes cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, and cardamom. Some recipes also include anise seeds.

Speculaas cookies come in a lot of different shapes, but windmill is one of the best known. These cookies are a traditional treat for Saint Nicholas Day, celebrated December 6th. Versions of the cookie are also made in parts of Germany and in Belgium.

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Image credit: Windmill-shaped Speculaas by Max Straeten, MorgueFile

Note: This article has been moved here by the author from Bubblews, where it was initially published

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bestwriter wrote on January 2, 2015, 8:11 PM

I love the flavour of anise seeds which we add while making sponge cakes. Talking of shapes I remember we used to get biscuits that had animal shapes.

LeaPea2417 wrote on January 2, 2015, 9:41 PM

Those look very good and they would go great with coffee or hot tea. The spices are very tasty.

scheng1 wrote on January 3, 2015, 3:32 AM

I like cookies but I never pay attention to the names or shapes. I just know which ones are good with coffee.

k2705 wrote on January 3, 2015, 3:47 AM

I've never heard of of tried these cookies before but they really do sound yummy.

LadyDuck wrote on January 3, 2015, 4:27 AM

I remember these cookies I also found them on the shelves in France, I think they were made in the Alsace (North of France).

MBank wrote on January 3, 2015, 5:41 AM

Sound very cool like wind mill shape cookies. I like to eat with coffee shape is doesn't matter for me.

zabelle51 wrote on January 3, 2015, 9:48 AM

Hi Kyla, I am Bellestarr, anyway I have had these cookies before though not recently and this has made me want to go looking for them. :)

Ellis wrote on January 3, 2015, 11:05 AM

These look like perfect dunking know the sort that doesn't drop off in your

peachpurple wrote on January 4, 2015, 4:07 AM

i love cookies, this choc cookie looks similar to our local teddy cookies

Dustin4ever wrote on January 4, 2015, 4:44 PM

Love these cookies. My aunt used to have them and Dustin loved them.

allen0187 wrote on January 9, 2015, 8:12 PM

The only shaped cookies I've had were of animals. I bet it would be cool to get a windmill shaped one. I bet those tastes great and would go well with coffee, tea, or even hot milk or hot chocolate.

angelaterese13 wrote on January 13, 2015, 9:51 PM

I've seen cookies like these every now and then, but I can't remember what their shapes were now.