Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dutch Windmill Cookies ~ Speculaas

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One of Will's pet names for me is "Dutchie" because my maiden name is Van Andel.

My Dad's dad came over from Holland in 1903, when he was 9 years old. Dad loved Dutch windmill cookies, and we would sit together eating those crisp, spicy cookies while he drank his coffee and I dunked mine in ice cold milk! Sure wish I had a fancy windmill mold to do these tasty cookies justice but, if close my eyes, I'm back in our homey kitchen sitting at the table beside my Daddy, munching on our favorite cookies shaped like Dutch windmills! I love and miss you Daddy!

These are from my extra crispy batch . . . Great for dunking!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe printed in the Milwaukee Journal.

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup hot water

1 cup butter or 16 ounces, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, I freshly grated mine.

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds


  • Dissolve baking soda in 1/2 cup hot water.
  • To large mixing bowl add ~ soda mixture, butter pieces and brown sugar, cream together with mixer.
  • In a separate bowl add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mace, whisk together.
  • Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, using mixer to incorporate.
  • Stir in almonds.
  • On a lightly floured bench, roll dough into 2 loaves (1 lb. 7 oz. each), 3-inch x 11-inch.
  • Dough will be very soft, handle gently and don't over flour.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Once covered, gently pat into even oval loaves.
  • Place rolls on baking sheet and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to bake ~ preheat oven to 350F.
  • Using a very sharp knife, slice into 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch slices, placing cookies 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10 minutes for crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside or, 13-14 minutes for very crispy, like store bought windmill cookies.
  • Let cookies rest on cookie sheet 2 minutes before moving to wire cooling rack.

Cut chilled dough with a sharp knife.
Be sure to leave 2-inch spacing between cookies . . . They do spread!
My 10 minute cookies . . . Golden on top, lightly browned on the bottom (see middle cookie).
These are my 14 minute cookies . . . Perfect but another few seconds and they would be burnt!
Great with hot coffee . . . Exceptional with ice cold milk . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Every time we bake or cook up a meal for our families, we are literally "cooking up memories"! There is so much more that goes on when we all put our feet under the same table! Do you have a favorite cookie that brings back happy childhood memories? I'd love to hear about it!


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