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Cookie Boards

Everything to Bake the Famous Dutch Speculaas Cookie.

Speculaas, together with the Stroopwafel, is the best known and most popular Dutch cookie. But what not everyone knows is that speculaas is a invention from the Dutch golden age (17th century). The cookie has a rich tradition and the recipe has been perfected over the centuries.

What is Speculaas?

Speculaas is a hard cake / cookie that is mainly eaten in the Netherlands and Belgium. The speculaas gets the specific taste by adding speculaas spices. This is a mixture of the following herbs:

  • white pepper
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • clove
  • cardamom
  • nutmeg

The majority of the gingerbread spices consist of cinnamon. Sugar is also an important ingredient of speculaas. The characteristic forms stem from sacrifices made by means of cookies. These are created with a speculaas board. The Catholic Church portrayed their saints through cookies, especially Saint Nicholas because this was a very popular saint. Nowadays you can also see cookie moulds in the shape of a windmill or a wooden shoe.

Cookie of the Dutch Golden Age

Amsterdam was an important center for storing spices in Europe in the 17th century. The ships of the V.O.C. (Dutch East India Company) brought spices from the Dutch Indies. (present Indonesia) Initially the spices were very expensive, but because so much was stored in the warehouses in Amsterdam the price fell sharply. Bakers could experiment with the exotic spices. These exact recipes were kept secret. At the end of the 19th century industrialisation took place. The baking process was mechanized, and the cookie boards were replaced by a speculaas machine with metal molds. Nowadays, the old recipes are still being used, so you can bake and taste the true Dutch cookie drom the 17th century.

Origin of the Name “Speculaas”

There is speculation about where the name comes from. The two most likely theories are:

  • speculaas comes from the words spice and klaas. Many cookies were already baked in Europe in the shape of patron saints such as Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch). These cookies were called “claes cookies.” Spice is called specerij in Dutch the two words combined makes speculaas.
  • In Latin, the word “species” means not only spice, but also coins and currencies. In the 17th century, the spice trade was well earned. It was speculated by buying spices cheaply in the Dutch East Indies, and then selling them more expensive elsewhere in the world. The word speculate was born that way.

Bring home the taste and smells from Holland with our cookie moulds. With these moulds you can make the famous dutch “speculaas koek.” Follow the steps of the recipe, and enjoy the taste of Holland. Recipe included.

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