Gluten-free Dutch Speculaas Cookies
Aka Windmill cookies, for all you big box store shoppers.
**IMPORTANT NOTE** this recipe requires you to refrigerate dough OVERNIGHT. Do not think you can just make this in the morning for a party that evening. **IMPORTANT NOTE OVER**
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup sweet (glutinous/mochi) rice flour
- 3/4 + 1/8 teaspoons of xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1/2 tablespoons speculaas spice*
- 1 teaspoon salt
* Speculaas spice:
- 8 parts cinnamon
- 2 parts nutmeg
- 2 parts ground cloves
- 1 part white pepper
- 1 part ground ginger
- 1 part cardamom
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I followed the DBD’s instructions pretty much exactly:
- Cream butter, vanilla, and both kinds of sugar until light and fluffy. Add both eggs and blend well.
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together and slowly add to the butter mixture. (Make sure you’re wearing an apron. This is the messy step where all the flours are liable to fly into the air and distribute themselves across a wide area if you’re not careful. Also, make sure your beaters are of good quality. A tine on one of mine actually broke while I was doing this.)
- Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Roll out dough to 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick and cut with cookie cutters.
Now, that last step is short, sweet, and totally doesn’t represent the amount of work that you actually have to do. You see, since the dough’s been chilled, it is VERY difficult to actually get it to do anything without breaking apart, at first. After a few minutes of cudgeling it with your fists, the dough will absorb the ambient temperature of the room and your hands, becoming more malleable.
As well, if you’ve never rolled out dough before, make sure you put down a sprinkling of flour on your (clean!) counter so the dough itself doesn’t stick. I used a bit of the sweet rice flour and it worked well. As well, I laid saran wrap over the lump of dough to keep it from sticking like a mofo to my rolling pin.
Okay, but once that’s done, you can pop your cookies into the oven (I used a tray covered in parchment paper and it worked fine) – bear in mind they will spread a bit as they bake, so make sure to space them out correctly. Bake them for 10-12 minutes, then lay them on a rack to cool and harden.
I actually first made these about two years ago. I went around and purchased the spices myself, ground them with a stone mortar and pestle, refrigerated the dough for the recommended amount of time, pounded that sucker out, and had them done in time for a board game party.
They were a disaster. Long story short, I didn’t give myself enough time to do it and the oven was a little too hot so they got way too crispy.
I also made far too much speculaas spice, so I had a little baggie left over of clovey, nutmeg goodness. It stayed in my drawer for like two years, until this Christmas, I decided to try again. I snagged the original recipe from The Dutch Baker’s Daughter, and added a few modifications of my own to make it gluten-free. And it worked well. Very well. These cookies are sweet, spicy, and just a wee bit crumbly. Perfection in every crunch. Unless you get a wee bit of clove… make sure you grind those spices together well.