How to Make Authentic Speculoos Cookies

How to Make Authentic Speculoos Cookies

(Skip to Recipe)Seasonal Traditions Help Mark Time
My family has several recipes that help us celebrate the passage of seasons and holidays.  We feel bound by tradition to make theses dishes each year.  For instance, we prepare Speculoos cookies for Thanksgiving and St. Nicholas Day.  Below are other seasonal traditions in our home:

In the winter, we prepare French Onion Soup and Belgian Beef Carbonnade.  In Belgium and France, French Onion Soup often helps celebrate the New Year.  It’s perfect in the middle of winter after a night of celebration.  The soup is served in the wee hours of …

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Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Why make Pumpkin Latke Waffles?
This Hanukkah season I wanted to create a new kind of latke (potato pancake) with some leftover boiled potatoes and a wedge of fresh pumpkin.  As many of you know, I love using pumpkin, especially in savory dishes.  For more pumpkin recipes follow this link or this other link.

Autumn is also my favorite season of the year.  I adore the various hues of yellow, red, orange and brown everywhere as well as the abundance of harvested vegetables and fruit.  All kinds of squash, nuts, apples, and pears are among my top choices during autumn.  

Adding pumpkin to …


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Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Roasting vs. Boiling when Preparing Pumpkin Puree
Since pumpkin in cans is almost impossible to find outside of the United States, I usually prepare pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin.  If you follow this step, remember to leave the cooked pumpkin in a strainer over a bowl for about 30 minutes to eliminate the excess water.  But do not throw this liquid out as it is absolutely delicious to drink as is or to add it to smoothies, oatmeal, soup or any other dish.  I find this liquid to be my autumn gold as it is so refreshing.

Most cookbooks recommend roasting pumpkin in the oven to remove the …

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Gingersnap Pecan Crust

What Makes This Crust So Delicious With Pumpkin Pie?
For several years I have made this delicious Gingersnap Pecan Crust with pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  It is easy to make and is so yummy!  As pecans are rare in Belgium, this Gingersnap Pecan Crust can become pricely to make here.  However, if you can afford it or live where pecans are more abundant (In the South in the United States), try it.  You will not be disappointed.

If you are looking for other ideas for pie crust for pumpkin pie, see my recipe for Speculoos Pie Crust.  For those looking for a more classic crust, try my Pastry C…

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Speculoos Pie Crust

Speculoos Pie Crust

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What are Speculoos Cookies?
Origin of the Name
If you are wondering what the heck are Speculoos, they are a traditional Belgian and Dutch spice cookie eaten all year round yet primarily made for Saint Nicholas day (6 December in Belgium and 5 December in the Netherlands) and the winter holidays.

In some Anglo-Saxon countries, these traditional cookies are known as Biscoff.   Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, they refer to these cookies as Speculaas.   In Germany, where these cookies also have deep roots, they are known as Spekulatius.  Many countries in Europe and the Ame…


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Thanksgiving in Belgium

Thanksgiving in Belgium

How do we celebrate Thanksgiving in Belgium?
Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Belgium. My children and I therefore celebrate Thanksgiving in Belgium each year either the weekend before or after the actual holiday. This year, we celebrated it on Saturday 21 November 2015 with friends and family. Each year is an opportunity to invite new friends to join in the celebration and get a taste for this American holiday. Most people have seen Thanksgiving celebrated in films and on TV and are curious to experience it up close.

When new people join our Thanksgiving table, the dish that is the most u…

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Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Why is this Sweet Potato Casserole Chunky and Juicy?
Most sweet potato casseroles at Thanksgiving are overly sweet with marshmallows and candied pecans and blended into smooth puree.  My Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole leaves the sweet potato, carrots and fruit in chunks, allowing each ingredient’s true flavor to shine.  Very little sugar is added to this casserole, making it more healthy for you to eat.  A naturally light version of this traditional dish should be welcome at your Thanksgiving dinner table to help your guests enjoy their food without feeling guilty or overly stuffed.

The …

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Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Sometimes Simple Stuffing Recipes are Welcome on Thanksgiving
If you are like me on Thanksgiving Day, you somehow suddenly become a master multi-tasker.  Preparing several dishes at a time, making sure the oven is constantly filled with dishes being cooked in a pre-determined order, and decorating the table and dining room for the main event:  Thanksgiving dinner.  In all this chaotic order it’s welcoming to have some dishes that remain simple, without any extra fuss.

My Simple Stuffing recipe is exactly what is needed.  It has the all the main ingredients (bread, celery, sage, vegetable b…

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Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

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What Makes This Speculoos Pumpkin Pie Worth Waiting an Entire Year?
For more than 30 years I’ve been making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I have always considered pumpkin pie to be one of my specialties.    Truth be told, I’ve basically followed the same recipe for the filling all these years, initially inspired by the Joy of Cooking (6th edition).

However, from time to time I’ve tried different crusts.  This year I tried a new Speculoos Pie Crust and found it to be easy and delicious.  Follow the link above to discover the recipe for this amazing pie crust so you can …


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