Secret Recipe Club 2014 Cookie Carnival - Speculaas

Welcome to this special December edition of the Secret Recipe Club! For this special edition cookie exchange, I was assigned to The Tasty Cheapskate where I found a HUGE collection of cookie recipes to browse through. You can read more about Jean on her about me page! It was fun for me to get to "meet" someone outside of my usual Group D for reveal days. I adore my group, but it is always nice to discover someone new and branch out from your comfort zone every now and then too. Find Jean on Pinterest or Facebook too!

Look at this list of cookies I had to pick through!

Cookies and Brownies/Bars
100% Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Better Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Optional Nutella Filling
Cadbury Milk Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Cinnamon-y Chocolate Chip Cookies
Coconut Macaroons
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars
Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
Dutch Almond Bars
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies
I Ran Out of Eggs Egg-Free Cookies
Jean's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Katie's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Katie's Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (aka Whoopie Pies)
Kip's Chocolate Chip and M&M Cookies
Lemon Chick Cookies (for Easter)
Lemon Doodles
Molasses Crinkles
Nutella Cookies
Pumpkin Cookies
Seven Layer Cookies (Magic Cookie Bars)
Stir 'Em With a Spoon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies--caramel and peanut butter
Triple Choc Cookies
Triple Chocolate Cookies

Ummm... where do I start?!! I kind of got suckered into the Speculaas - the story behind them is pretty cool and involves Jean spending time in The Netherlands and experiencing Saint Nicolas Day and songs about Sinterklaas!

I kind of messed this one up - but it didn't matter because they came out incredibly delicious despite my best efforts to ruin them. I halved the recipe because seeing a full cup of butter in a cookie recipe makes me think it is going to make way too much and I should make half the called for recipe... however, this is meant to be a thick, bar-style cookie, so I should have gone with the original recipe and followed the instructions. I tried baking the halved recipe on a baking sheet, and so I ended up with fairly flat cookies because they spread so much (and I didn't chill prior to baking). They were still buttery, wonderfully spiced, crispy on the edges and chewy too. Everything I could ask for in a Christmasey cookie! Those cloves were probably my favorite part - I had whole cloves to start with, so when I ground them in the mortar and pestle, some of the pieces were still a little larger than "finely ground" but it just added an extra bite of spice in some of the mouthfuls of cookie. The nuts added a nice touch of texture (though I used chopped walnuts because apparently I am out of almonds).

This is definitely a keeper - very different from pretty much anything I've ever made before. I LOVED all of the wonderful flavors in these cookies. I kept feeling like I was drinking spiced apple cider, the way the spice lingered in the back of my throat. These cookies taste like Christmas. Definitely give them a try!

Speculaas from The Tasty Cheapskate

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature (2 sticks)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, beaten
3 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp anise extract
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Beat butter, vanilla, and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs. 
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and then stir into butter mixture (the dough will be stiff). 
  4. Roll or press dough into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Press almonds lightly into dough. Bake 15 - 20 minutes. 
  5. Cool and cut into squares.
  6. You can also chill the dough and then cut it into rounds or into shapes before baking.


  1. I've been wanting to try speculaas cookies for ages! Thanks for sharing!

  2. wow, look at how many cookies you had to work from! I would have gone crazy, unable to decide...

    but you picked a great one, in fact probably my favorite type of cookie ever!

    nothing compares, in my opinion, the spices, the texture... LOVE THEM!

  3. Love cookies with a story behind them! These look and sound fantastic!

  4. Wonderful Cookies and Story~ Happy Holidays~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  5. Lovely cookie recipe for SRC. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season

  6. I have Biscoff spread before, but never the actual cookie - think I need to fix this!

  7. Yum, love speculaas. Great pick for the Cookie Carnival!

  8. I love a good spicy cookie. Perfect for the holiday season.

  9. These look great. How sweet of you to show her entire list of cookies!!

  10. funny - when I see a cup of butter in a recipe, I get excited! These look and sound delicious!

  11. I like your mistaken change up to the recipe - thin, crispy cookies are my favorite. :)


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