Discover the Belgian Speculoos Cookie
If Belgium has a national cookie (or biscuit as the English say) it is the Speculoos. Originally created for children to celebrate Saint Nicholas day (December 6), the treat is now so popular it is served with coffee in bars and restaurants, used as a flavor in specialty ice creams, and has even inspired a rich butter or paste (similar to a jar of peanut butter.)
The name of the cookie comes from the Latin derivite 'species', which means 'spices'. Flavored with mild spices and brown sugar, the cookie finds its appeal in its ability to satisfy the sweet tooth with simplicity.
These light brown cookies abound at the grocery store and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. At Christmas, the cookie is still available in the large form of St. Nicholas where you can buy them by the pack of three or by the box.
Look for Lotus
The Lotus brand is one of the most popular. Lotus sells the cookie in 10-packs of two cookies (normal size and mini-size), as well as in long packs of 30 cookies or so and boxes containing four long packs. You can also find them covered in chocolate...a real Belgian treat!
Then there is the Grand Place cookie/biscuit shop, La Maison Dandoy. Located just down the street past the Aroma Cafe and tapestry shop, La Maison Dandoy offers the cookie freshly baked with a more earthy home made flavor.
Speculoos Cookies Recipe
If you'd like to make this Belgian cookie at home, here's a recipe we can share with you.
375gr brown sugar
½ tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp spices (ginger, nutmeg etc)
100gr almonds (powder)
Mix all the ingredients together and leave the mixture in a cold place till the next day.
Roll out the dough. Cut it into shapes (squares, not squares etc)Place all on a cooking tray.
Cook for 15min at low heat.
Here's another idea:
Give your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe a new twist by substituting the peanut butter for Speculoos butter.