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Dutch Filled Almond Cookies (Gevulde Speculaaskoeken)

Dutch Filled Almond Cookies (Gevulde Speculaaskoeken)

Dutch Filled Almond Cookies (Gevulde Speculaaskoeken)

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Dutch Filled Almond Cookies (Gevulde Speculaaskoeken)
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Course: Filled Cookies, Hand-Shaped CookiesCuisine: DutchDifficulty: Medium



Gevulde Speculaaskoeken are a wonderful Dutch filled cookie with a spicy Speculaas (Dutch gingerbread) dough and an almond paste filling. In the Netherlands, these are traditionally served on the feast of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) on December 6.
This recipe was translated from the Dutch (see note*) and metric measurements. This is why there are some unusual amounts such as “1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons”. Of course, you can use your kitchen scale to weigh out the exact measurements in grams.


  • For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (140 g)

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed (125 g)

  • zest from 1/4 of a lemon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 large beaten egg, at room temperature (beat one egg, use half of that, about 1-1/2 tablespoons of beaten egg)

  • 2-1/2 tablespoon milk

  • 1-1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (250 g)

  • 1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons Speculaas spice mix (see note**, below)

  • For the almond filling:
  • 8.8 ounces almond paste (250 g)

  • 1 large beaten egg

  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of water

  • For garnish:
  • 1 large beaten egg

  • slivered almonds, or whole almonds


  • Make the dough
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, dark brown sugar, lemon zest and salt just until combined. Beat in the half egg and the milk. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and gingerbread spices. Blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Wrap dough in a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • Make the filling
  • Mix the almond paste with egg and water until smooth. Start with 1/2 tablespoon of water and add the rest only if needed.
  • Assemble and bake
  • Preheat oven to 390F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Knead the dough briefly to soften it, then roll it on an lightly floured board (or between two sheets of waxed paper) to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 24 rounds (or more if you can, but you need an even number). Dough can be re-rolled one time, but no more (further re-rolling will result in tough cookies). Place half of the rounds on the prepared baking sheet (these will be the bottoms of the cookies). Using a pastry bag, a cookie scoop, or just a tablespoon, divide filling so that it sits in a small mound in the middle of the bottom cookies; keep filling away from edges. Lightly moisten the outside edges of the rounds with water and top the cookies with the remaining rounds. Press the edges of the top and bottom rounds together with the tines of a fork to seal. Brush the cookies lightly with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with the slivered almonds. Alternately, press a single whole almond in the center of each cookie. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


  • * Recipe translated from the Dutch from Met Kort en de keuken website.
  • This excellent kitchen converter from Charlote’s Lively Kitchen was used to convert weight to volume for various ingredients. Of course, weight is a more exact measurement and you should use a kitchen scale if you have one.
  • ** If you are unable to find Speculaas spice, it’s very easy to make your own:
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1/4 teaspoon ground aniseed
    1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    Mix all together and keep in a spice jar. The cookie recipe above uses 2 tablespoons of this spice mix, which is most of it. Double or triple the spice mix recipe if you’d like more to use in other recipes.

    The original cookie recipe in Dutch called for 3 tablespoons of this mix but I found that to be a bit too much.


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