Speculaas Stars Cookies

Speculaas Stars are Dutch spice cookies traditionally eaten on December 5th (St. Nicholas Day), this holiday version cut into festive shapes and decorated with almond slices.
Speculaas Stars Cookies

Speculaas Stars Cookies

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Disclaimer: Thank you to Millican Pecan and Adams Extracts, for providing the prizes for #ChristmasCookies Week free of charge. As always, all opinions are my own.

Jump to Recipe

My recipe of the day for today is for speculaas stars cookies, a holiday version of the traditional windmill cookie that is usually made in molds.

Print Recipe

I have made these today using a star cutout and arranging the almonds in a star pattern.

What is Speculaas?

Speculaas generally denotes gingerbread, either made in a cake or a biscuit, and the spice mix to make these is called that. You can buy it commercially if you like or I have offered a version here. There is a similar one that is slightly different on my Windmill Cookies recipe which uses my recipe for speculaas spice.

True Holiday Flavor

There are many different versions of the mix since it is a general spice cake spice, and I have tweaked my own regular version in this recipe to have a bit more bite and holiday flavor.

So while these are technically “gingerbread” (as they do contain ginger and molasses) they will not taste wholly like the gingerbread cookies you might be used to in the USA.

I just love the flavor notes, which are mild on the palate and expand on the back end with their complexity. So while it may take a few extra minutes to gather up the spices, the result is really worth it, I think.

Easy to Roll

Provided the dough is well chilled, I find these quite easy to roll between parchment, although a little flour can be used. I try to avoid that though by keeping it cold and only bringing out what I need to roll at one time.

Rolling onto the parchment, I like to run a butter knife under the cookie to get it to lift from the paper, then use the knife itself to tote it over to the cookie sheet. You can roll out onto the sheet directly if your sheet is not rimmed (mine were not today). My flat cookie sheets are ridged so I didn’t want that imprinting on the cookies.

I used two of the small bags of sliced almonds. Not that many were needed for the cookies but market gremlins usually smash some up in the bag. The crushed almonds which weren’t pretty for the cookies I will save for something else. Toasted up, they add a lot of crunch to salads (it’s one of my favorite things to add to a caesar salad instead of croutons – carb cutting, you know, all that good stuff).

Quantity of cookies and bake time will depend in thickness. Just watch the star tips in good  light. They should just start to color and the cookie should be firm. Cool on the pans so you don’t break them moving around- they really firm up after cooling.

Speculaas Stars Cookies

As part of Christmas Cookies Week, we will be having a giveaway with prizes offered by the sponsors. Make sure you get signed up for that below if you’d like a chance to win.

Christmas Cookies Week

Thank you to Ellen of Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting #ChristmasCookies Week And a huge thank you to our sponsors Adams Extract and Millican Pecan Company for supporting the bloggers and events like Christmas Cookies Week.

Check out today’s cookie recipes:

Check out today’s cookie recipes:

Black Forest Stuffed Cookies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Bourbon Molasses Cookies by Cookaholic Wife
Cake Mix Chocolate Peppermint Cookies by Love and Confections
Candied Pecan Lace Cookies by Food Above Gold
Caramel Butter Pecan Cookies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies by Intelligent Domestications
Coconut Grinchy Christmas Breakfast Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Cinnamon Pecan Snickerdoodles by Blogghetti
Dark Chocolate Pecan Croissant Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes
Easy Snickerdoodle Cookie by Everyday Eileen
Fruit Cake Biscotti by Creative Southern Home
Fruitcake Cookies by Red Cottage Chronicles
Gluten Free Hungarian Rugelach by Frugal & Fit
Goat Cheese & Rosemary Thumbprints with Cherry Jam by The Spiffy Cookie
Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies by Cheese Curd In Paradise
No Bake Chocolate & Marshmallow Stained Glass Cookies by Hardly A Goddess
Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Pecan Sandies by Books n’ Cooks
Pecan Tassies by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Peppermint Blossom Cookies by Family Around the Table
Speculaas Stars by Palatable Pastime (You are Here!)
Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies by Sweet Beginnings

You Might Also Like:

Iced Molasses Cookies

Iced  Molasses Cookies

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Cranberry KitKat Cookies

Cranberry Kit-Kat Cookies

Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk macadamia Nut Cookies

Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies

Frosted Mint Chip Brownies

Frosted Mint Chip Brownies

Speculaas Stars Cookies

Speculaas Stars Cookies

The Giveaway


Flavors of Fall Millican Prize Package

Prize 1 – Millican Pecan Tower of Treats Gift Tins

Originally founded as the West Texas Pecan Nursery in the late 1800’s, Millican Pecan is now in 5th generation ownership. Located in San Saba, TX, the family continues the tradition of pecan farming while also branching the business into the online world. The family also enjoys educating people about pecans. One winner will receive The Tower of Treats Gift Tins. The tower includes 3 decorative gift tins stacked on top of each other. The bottom tin includes our 2 lb. Chocolate Pecan Sampler, the middle tin is our Flavored Pecan Sampler and the top tin is a 8 oz. tin of Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles). An $80 value.


Adams Extract

Prize 2 – Adams Extract Prize Pack

Adams traces its beginnings back to Battle Creek, Michigan, when John A. Adams began making and selling his Green Plant Sarsaparilla extract, Adamur, in 1888. In 1905, he moved his family to Beeville, TX. At the time, most vanilla sold to pharmacies and was often labeled “Do not bake or freeze.” John A. Adams’ wife yearned for a flavoring that wouldn’t bake or freeze out. He announced that he could produce a better vanilla than the one his wife was currently using. Working with just $6.71 worth of materials on top of an old icebox, John A. Adams discovered the formula he wanted. To test this product, his wife whipped up a cake for the family to try. “John, this is the BEST flavoring I have ever used,” she announced. “Well, that’s old man Adams BEST,” he responded.

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Speculaas Stars Cookies

Speculaas Stars Cookies

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine Dutch


  • Equipment: Parchment paper and a large star shaped cookie cutter


Cookie Dough:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons minced orange zest
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


  • 1 cup sliced blanched almonds


  • Cream together the butter, shortening and sugars until smooth.
  • Add egg, molasses and orange zest, mixing well.
  • Mix in remaining dough ingredients until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Divide dough in half and wrap each half in a disk shape in plastic wrap and freeze for thirty minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough (one disk at a time) to 1/8"-1/4" thick, between parchment paper, keeping the other chilled while you work.
  • Cut out star shapes and transfer dough cutouts to parchment lined cookie sheets. If dough is difficult to handle, chill longer.
  • Press almond slices around cookie as shown in photos.
  • Bake cookies for 14-16 minutes or until the tips of the stars just begin to brown.
  • Cool cookies completely on the cookie sheets.


From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
Keyword Speculaas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Speculaas Stars Cookies

Speculaas Stars Cookies

Giveaway Disclaimer:
Two (2) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #ChristmasCookies bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway.

Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and contest is open only to US residents. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookies posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan Company, and Adams Extracts and Flavorings for providing prizes.

12 responses

  1. You’re just busting out all of the pretty cookies this week! The nut decorations on these put them over the top!

    • Someone else on my receiving end hadn’t heard of them either, either as speculaas or windmill, and were happy to have a bite. I have loved these since I was a kid (and love spice cookies in general, such as hermits and gingersnaps).

    • Thanks! I thought about painting the bottoms with some icing but got lazy. Turns out they didn’t need it anyway.

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