Vegan (& Gluten Free) Speculaas Cookies

These spiced Dutch cookies are light, crispy, and perfect for the holidays! I made them for St. Nicholas Day, but they would also be great for Yule or Christmas. The spices get stronger as the dough sits, so make the dough a day or two before baking the cookies if you have time to wait. Here are the ingredients you will need to make them:

I prefer to use my own gluten free flour blend, but it requires my egg replacement which is not available quite yet. My egg replacement makes xanthan and guar gums unnecessary and gives a superior result. It will be out very soon, and I will be sharing more about it in an upcoming post! (Click on this link for a sneak peek video.) In the meantime, I used this 1:1 flour from Bob’s Red Mill to make these cookies. It worked very well and I was quite pleased with the result:

You should be able to use any gluten free flour blend that has xanthan gum already added if you can’t find this one. This recipe should also work with all purpose wheat flour, but I would start with 190 g (1 1/2 c) and then add up to another 65 g (1/2 c) as needed to make a stiff dough as shown in the photos below. I highly recommend weighing any flour, however, because different flour blends have different densities, and measuring flour is inaccurate anyway. If you do measure, spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level it with a straight edge.

Whisk the flour, almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill), baking soda, and spices together and set aside for now.

Add the sugar (I use Zulka brand), vegan brown sugar (I make my own), vegan butter (I use Earth Balance), salt, and vanilla to a mixing bowl:

Mix on low speed for two minutes:

Add one tablespoon of the milk at a time, mixing well between additions:

The batter should be light and fluffy like this:

Add one third of the flour mixture, then mix it in on low speed:

Scrape down the beaters and the bowl:

Add half of the remaining flour mixture and stir it in with the spatula:

Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir again:

Stir in the almonds. I used half almond slivers and half toasted sliced almonds. Either is fine to use. If you are toasting your almonds, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast for five minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let them cool before adding them to your cookie dough.

Your dough should be fairy stiff, but not at all dry. You should be able to shape it easily without it cracking, but it should be stiff enough to not stick to the bowl or your hands:

Divide the dough into four pieces and shape each one into a disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least an hour and up to several days. (I only made two disks, but it is easier to roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time. So, divide the dough into four pieces.)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll out one disk of chilled dough out between two pieces of waxed paper. You want it to be a little more than 1/8″ thick:

Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. I really like the stars, but you can use any shape you like. My star cookie cutter is three inches across and I got 40 cookies from this recipe.

Remove the scraps from between the cut shapes. Using a toothpick makes this a lot easier!

Transfer the cut shapes still on the waxed paper to a cookie sheet, and pop them in the freezer for five minutes:

Transfer the chilled shapes to a parchment-lined baking sheet:

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, until the edges are turning golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for five minutes, then transfer them to a rack. Allow them to cool completely before adding the icing.

My friend Gretchen has a recipe for vegan royal icing on her blog, and it worked really well! I made half of a batch and still had lots left over after glazing all of my cookies. (You will need to scroll down quite a bit on the link to get to the icing recipe.) I used my homemade powdered sugar to make the icing and it worked great!

Add the icing to a sandwich baggie, squeeze out the air, and zip the top closed. Cut a bit off one corner of the bag, and pipe a zigzag pattern on the star cookies:

Here is what mine looked like:

Let the icing set for at least a few hours before packaging the cookies. (I let my cookies dry overnight before stacking them for these photos.) Store your cookies in an airtight container.

I tried stacks of six cookies with 1/8″ wide ribbon.

Happy Baking!

 

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Vegan (& Gluten Free) Speculaas Cookies

These spiced Dutch cookies are light, crispy, and perfect for the holidays!

Course Cookies, Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Calories 75 kcal

Ingredients

  • 255 g (2 c) Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 45 g (1/2 c) Almond Flour
  • 2.5 g (1/2 tsp) Baking Soda
  • 3.9 g (1 1/2 tsp) Cinnamon
  • 0.8 g (1/2 tsp) Ginger
  • 1.0 g (1/2 tsp) Cardamom
  • 0.6 g (1/4 tsp) Nutmeg
  • 0.3 g (1/8 tsp) Cloves
  • 112 g (1/2 c) Vegan Butter
  • 110 g (1/2 c packed) Vegan Light Brown Sugar
  • 67 g (1/3 c) Vegan Sugar
  • 5.0 g (1 tsp) Vanilla Extract
  • 3.2 g (1/2 tsp) Salt
  • 45 g (3 TBS) Soy Milk
  • 40 g (1/3 c) Slivered or Sliced Almonds

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill), baking soda, and spices together and set aside for now.

  2. Add the sugars, vegan butter (I use Earth Balance), salt, and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for two minutes.

  3. Add one tablespoon of the milk at a time, mixing well between additions. The batter should be light and fluffy.

  4. Add one third of the flour mixture, then mix it in on low speed.

  5. Scrape down the beaters and the bowl. Add half of the remaining flour mixture and stir it in with the spatula. Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir again. Your dough should be fairy stiff, but not at all dry. You should be able to shape it easily without it cracking, but it should be stiff enough to not stick to the bowl or your hands.

  6. Stir in the almonds. I used half almond slivers and half toasted sliced almonds. Either is fine to use. If you are toasting your almonds, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast for five minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let them cool before adding them to your cookie dough.
  7. Divide the dough into four pieces and shape each one into a disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least an hour and up to several days.

  8. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out one disk of chilled dough out between two pieces of waxed paper. You want it to be a little more than 1/8″ thick. Remove the scraps from between the cut shapes. Using a toothpick makes this a lot easier! Transfer the cut shapes still on the waxed paper to a cookie sheet, and pop them in the freezer for five minutes.

  9. Transfer the chilled shapes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, until the edges are turning golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for five minutes, then transfer them to a rack. Allow them to cool completely before adding the icing.

  10. Add your icing to a sandwich baggie, squeeze out the air, and zip the top closed. Cut a bit off one corner of the bag, and pipe as desired. Let the icing set for at least a few hours before packaging the cookies. (I let my cookies dry overnight before stacking them.) Store your cookies in an airtight container. Happy Baking!

Recipe Notes

  • You should be able to use any gluten free flour blend that has xanthan gum already added if you can’t find Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 flour. This recipe should also work with all purpose wheat flour, but I would start with 190 g (1 1/2 c) and then add up to another 65 g (1/2 c) as needed to make a stiff dough as shown in the photos on the blog post. I highly recommend weighing any flour, however, because different flour blends have different densities, and measuring flour is inaccurate anyway. If you do measure, spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level it with a straight edge.
  • The spices get stronger as the dough sits, so make the dough a day or two before baking the cookies if you have time to wait.

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