Recipe courtesy of Carolynn Dilworth, co-owner of Auray Gourmet, Larchmont 

German Christmas cookies, aka spekulaas in Holland, or Dutch Windmill cookies in the US

Makes about 8 dozen, 2” cookies

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1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla sugar (Dr. Oetker brand preferred)
14 Tbsp (1¾ stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
4¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cardamom



In a large bowl, cream sugar, vanilla sugar, and butter, until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Separately, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Stir into creamed mixture, until stiff dough forms.

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Form dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat oven to 350°F. On a floured surface, roll out dough to â…›” thickness and use desired cutter to make cookies. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies brown slightly around the edges.

These cookies can be decorated like conventional sugar cookies.

Storage Note: Keep them in an airtight container, like a cookie jar, and they will last up to 6 weeks.

“In our North German household,” says Dilworth, “my grandmother would make them four weeks in advance of Christmas, and on St. Nikolas Day, December 6, we would have our first tasty try. Each child in the household received an Advent Teller (plate) that is brightly decorated and filled with cookies, nuts, and clementines. The scent of the spices fills the house and signals the beginning of the holidays.”

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