Un goût de Belgique – Spéculoos aux amandes et huile essentielle de cannelle

Belgium is a tiny country, but it sure does how to make cookies. I grew up with spéculoos, probably because I lived close to the Belgium border.

My friend Laurent who is Parisian never heard of Spéculoos. So that’s why I came up to that conclusion. Actually The Netherlands and Germany do have their version of Spéculoos, and Northern France too. It’s a crunchy cookie with spices, and quite a substantial amount of cinnamon.

I did not bake those cookies for myself since I am not a huge fan of cinnamon but for one of my friend Mike. I thought Mike being American, he must like cinnamon. Usually spéculoos are thinner and have animal or rectangular shapes, I played a bit with it and made them round and thicker.

The particularity of theses spéculoos is the cinnamon essential oil that I added. I bought a book called “cuisiner aux huiles essentielles” (Cooking with essential oils” from Valerie Cupillard) which is quite an innovative cuisine.

Essential oils don’t only have to be used in baths, perfumes, massages, etc…if you only use a few drops they can also used in cooking. It gives a complete new dimension to your vegetarian dishes. Cooking with essential oils are a true olfactory discovery linked to the pleasure of your palate. Essential oils are very concentrate and a few drops are sufficient.

There are some strict rules to follow when cooking with essential oils. They always have to be diluted in a oily or syrupy mixture, and never be ingested pure.

Those cookies are delightful with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or can even be used as a base for various desserts, such as on crumbles, verrines, crusts, etc…their use is infinite and their flavor exquisite. It’s truly very versatile cookie with lots of personality.

Ingredients for about 15-20 spéculoos

  • 8.8 oz (or 250 g) flour
  • 4.4 oz (or 125 g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp four spices
  • 3-4 drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3.52 oz (or 100 g) butter
  • 1.76 oz (or 50 g) almonds, ground
  • 1 pinch salt


In a mixing container, blend flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and spice powders. Melt butter, and beat egg. Add drops of cinnamon essential oil to the butter, then mix butter and egg to the flour-spices mixture. Add salt. Mix all ingredients well, you will obtain a soft dough. Form cylinders with dough of about 2 inches diameter. Wrap in plastic film and place in refrigerator overnight. The day after, remove from refrigerator and cut in small disks, about 5 mm. If you like them thicker cut them to 1 cm.

Place on a cookie sheet and cook in a pre-heated oven at 350F for about 15 minutes. Do not over cook or the spéculoos will become too hard.