There's a famous traditional Dutch windmill-shaped cookie called speculaas. I decided to try a homemade gluten free version. I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised with the results!
My husband's parents immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands after World War II. Even before I met him and his family, I was familiar with the "windmill cookies" which were readily available in Canada.
We visited Holland a few years ago, and my in-laws kindly stocked me up on gluten free goodies. Other than that, I have not eaten any Dutch cookies since going gluten free. Until now, that is!
I stumbled upon the idea of creating this recipe while I was reading the November issue of my favourite magazine, House and Home. One of the features in an article of cookie recipes is speculaas, made by Jordan Gordanier, head pastry chef at Blackbird Baking Co.
Gluten Free Windmill Cookies
Knowing how much our family has always loved the cute windmill cookies, I decided it would be fun to try to create a gluten free version. They're rather highly spiced, which makes them an ideal candidate for conversion to gluten free flours. The spices mask any unusual flavours. In fact, the flours I've used blend quite well with the spices in these cookies.
First, I made a test batch to see if my gluten free version showed any promise. Since we were quite delighted with the result, I went ahead and ordered a cute little windmill-shaped cookie cutter from Amazon. Now the gluten free among us can enjoy speculaas whenever we want them!
How to Make Gluten Free Windmill Cookies
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar together. A stand mixer makes this easy, if you have one.
Add the eggs and beat them in.
Add the flour mixture and stir it in.
Shape the dough into two disks. Wrap and chill them in the refrigerator for an hour.
Roll out the chilled dough and cut into shapes.
I found that rolling the dough to ¼-inch thick works best with this cookie cutter. Otherwise, ⅛-inch thickness is nice for crisp cookies.
Bake the cookies until they begin to brown around the edges.
More Gluten Free Cookies You Might Like
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Honey Ginger Meringues
- Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins
- Cranberry Almond Biscotti
- Ginger Cookies
- Lavender Biscotti
- Lemon Coconut Chia Balls
Gluten Free Dutch Windmill Cookies (Speculaas)
- Windmill-shaped cookie cutter
- 2 half sheet pans
- Stand Mixer
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ⅔ cup sorghum flour
- ⅔ cup millet flour
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour
- 2 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground aniseed
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander seed
- ¾ cup butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup raw sugar
- 2 large eggs
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Then beat in the sugar.
- Beat the eggs in until well incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Divide the dough into two balls. Wrap each in plastic, flatten to a disc shape and refrigerate for one hour. If you've left it longer, leave it out on the counter for a few minutes to become workable again. It should be firm enough to hold its shape but soft enough to work with.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two 12- by 18-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Flour your work surface with any of the gluten free flours and roll out dough, one disc at a time. For the windmill cookie cutter I used, the dough needs to be ¼-inch (6 mm) thick to show the imprinted pattern. Otherwise, you could roll the dough to ⅛-inch (3 mm) thick.
- Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and place them on a parchment-lined pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes (10 - 15 minutes for thinner cookies). Watch your cookies closely near the end of baking time. You're looking for browning around the edges. These cookies are good when they're well done but not burnt.