Full of delightfully warm spices, these slice and bake windmill cookies are made the easy way, without a mold or stamp. And they’re nut-free!

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: These slice-and-bake cookies are easy to make. They’re good any time of the year with a cup of tea or coffee.

How long it takes: 20 minutes to make the dough, overnight chilling time, and 10 minutes per batch to bake
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, parchment or waxed paper, baking sheets
Servings: makes 4 dozen

Stack of windmill cookies in front of milk.
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Boy, do these cookies remind me of Christmas at my parents’ house. Every Christmas, our family would bake dozens of cookies to deliver to friends and relatives.

We didn’t usually change our repertoire of cookies very much. Everyone we delivered to had their favorites and were disappointed if they didn’t see the cookie they were looking forward to.

These windmill cookies were always included. Sweet and warmly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, they are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. They have just the right amount of buttery crunchiness.

Even though windmill cookies are traditionally made just before St. Nicholas Day (December 6) in the Netherlands, I enjoy them all year round. In fact, I served them at our annual Harvest Party this year. I think they’re perfect with a mug of steaming spiced cider, don’t you? Or maybe even better, with an apple cider mule or an apple cider mocktail!

Windmill cookies in front of milk and linen.

About Windmill Cookies

Traditional cookies. You may know these windmill cookies by a different name: Speculaas (Dutch), Speculoos (Flemish or Belgian), St. Nicholas cookies, or even the brand names Steenstra’s, Voortman’s, or Archway. Windmill cookies are traditionally made with a mold or stamp that presses a fancy image of a windmill, or Dutch boy or girl, or St. Nicholas into the cookie dough. They often include sliced almonds. 

Slice and bake cookies. This recipe for windmill cookies is much easier because it’s a slice and bake recipe. Simply make the dough and form it into 2 logs the night before, refrigerate them, and when you’re ready to bake cookies, cut quarter inch slices off and bake! That’s it!

Granted, they aren’t as fancy as traditional windmill cookies but I guarantee they are just as tasty and no one will miss the fancy designs as they’re helping themselves to seconds and thirds. 

Nut free. Those of you who already are familiar with my family know that we have nut allergies here at the Gurk household. So….I leave the almonds out. I would encourage you to add them if you love almonds but really these cookies have so much flavor, the almonds aren’t missed.

Windmill cookies on a cooling rack.


Are speculoos and Biscoff the same?

According to the Lotus Bakeries Biscoff site, “Biscoff” is the name given to their speculaas cookies sold in the U.S., using the same recipe since 1932.
Speculoos seems to be the Belgium name for the Dutch speculaas cookies, although there seems to be some distinction between the two, i.e., speculaas cookies have more spices.

Make It Your Own

  • Add almonds. Feel free to add a half cup of sliced almonds. You could even press the almonds into the tops of the sliced cookies before they’re baked for a decorative effect.
  • Decorate. Sprinkle sanding sugar on the tops of the cookies before baking, or roll the sides of the dough logs with sugar before you cut them. Another option is to drizzle chocolate or icing on the tops of the cookies after they’ve been baked and cooled.
  • Change the spice blend. I love the spice blend in this recipe but if you want, experiment with other spices such as ginger, cardamon, white pepper, or mace.
  • Flour options.I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour but you could also use all all-purpose white flour, or all whole wheat flour. 
  • Make cut-out cookies. Roll the chilled dough out and use a cookie cutter to make cut out shapes.  
  • Like Archway cookies? Try my iced oatmeal cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and gingersnaps.

Storage Tips

Cookies: Make sure the cookies are completely cool before storing them. They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week. Windmill cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for a month or more.

Cookie dough: An alternative is to freeze the dough logs, wrapped well, for a month. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator before slicing and baking.  


Windmill Cookies aka Speculoos Cookies (nut free option)

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 12 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
Full of delightfully warm spices, these slice and bake windmill cookies are made the easy way, without a mold or stamp. And they're nut-free!
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  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Optional: ½ cup sliced almonds


  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat to combine.
  • Add flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Divide dough in half.
  • Place half of dough onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a log about 2 inches in diameter. 
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough. Wrap both rolls in the parchment paper and refrigerate overnight. Dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF. Cut dough rolls into ¼ inch slices and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10  minutes or until just golden brown.. 
  • Cool for 2 to 3 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.


  • To keep cookies round, put the dough logs into two glasses, on their sides, open end to open end, in the refrigerator. This will keep the dough from flattening on one side as it chills. Or if you happen to have a couple of empty paper towel tubes, they work great, too. 
  • If you want smaller cookies, make your logs longer and thinner.
  • Traditional windmill cookies have sliced almonds. I leave them out of my cookies because of nut allergies.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 83kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 50mg, Potassium: 21mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 65IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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