Shortcrust Butter Biscuits

    4 hours 40 minutes

    This is a Swedish shortcrust biscuit, originally called 'speculoos.' They are traditionally made in intricate moulds but can also be formed by hand.

    12 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 3 cups (375g) plain flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 225g butter, softened
    • 1 1/4 cups (275g) packed brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:4hours chilling  ›  Ready in:4hours40min 

    1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour with spices, baking powder and salt.
    2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and mix well.
    3. Stir in by hand half the flour mixture, then add the remaining flour and almonds. Mix with a wooden spoon or knead with hands.
    4. Divide dough into four parts, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours. (If you are using a mould, chill it as well.)
    5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease two baking trays.
    6. Remove one quarter of the dough from the refrigerator and flatten it with your hands. Oil your mould and lightly flour it. Using your fingers, press dough firmly into the mould. Trim any excess dough from the mould with a knife.
    7. Transfer the biscuits onto greased baking trays with a spatula, spacing about 3cm apart.
    8. Refrigerate dough trimming to be rerolled later. Lightly flour but do not re-oil mould.
    9. Repeat process with remaining dough. When baking trays are full, bake biscuits for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Store in a covered tin.

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    Reviews in English (9)


    I made these cookies for my family, and they devoured them. I do not have a windmill mold, so I divided the dough in half, made rectangles out it and chilled it in saran wrap. Actually, in the freezer! Then I sliced it into 1/8'slices and baked them for 12 minutes. So crispy and crunchy, these went like wild fire. I found them to be extremely easy. I plan to make these a part of my Christmas cookies!! Thanks for such a great recipe!  -  28 Feb 2000  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This cookie was ok. It was a little bland. My husband's family is Dutch and he said that this cookie was not much like the original windmill ones. The spices are off and the texture is too cakey. It does taste nice for a lite snack but not much like real speculass.  -  12 Aug 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    These did not taste like speculaas at all to me, and I was born and raised into a dutch family, so I definitely have a lot of personal experience!! They tasted like a bland sugar cookie to me, with a hint of spice. They definitely need more zip and perhaps some molasses as well to intensify the flavour. Just throwing ideas out there. Not sure if I will bother trying to make these again, even with alterations, sorry. My kids ate one and didn't ask for more, which is a pretty strong statement.  -  01 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)