The “12 Cookies of Christmas”; Day Four and Five: Speculoos Buttons and Bourbon Spritz

Ready for another holiday treat?  SWEETTABLESCAPES‘ files are overflowing with recipes just like these and it is hard to choose…

To make matters “worse”, magazines are tempting us with their gorgeous covers…

IMG_1562So, we tackled this cover recipe:


The flavor is closer to a Gingerbread cookie than a cinnamon-filled speculoos but they are so beautiful and delicious.

Click here for the recipe from Bon Appetit, December 2012:

You’ll need:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • Sanding or other decorative sugar


  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Sprinkles, colored sanding sugar, or dragées (optional)



  • Whisk first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. IMG_1567IMG_1568Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter in a medium bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes. IMG_1569Add both sugars and molasses; continue to beat until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. IMG_1570IMG_1571IMG_1572Beat in egg and vanilla; mix for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients and mix to blend well.
  • Scrape dough from bowl and divide into thirds. Using your palms, roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch log. Wrap logs tightly in plastic or parchment paper and freeze for at least 3 hours. (For neater edges, remove logs from freezer after 1 hour and roll on counter.) DO AHEAD: Dough can be made up to 2 months ahead. Keep frozen.
  • Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Whisk egg white in a small bowl to loosen; lightly brush all over 1 log. Sprinkle with (or roll in) sanding sugar. Using a long, slender knife, slice off a sliver of dough from each end of log to make ends flat. Cut log into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. Transfer to 1 baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart; place in freezer while you cut the next log. (The cookies hold their shape better if you bake when dough is cold.) Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake 2 sheets of cookies, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes, until tops are golden brown and centers are almost firm, 11-13 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with third sheet of cookies. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.


  • Mix powdered sugar and 7 teaspoons cold water in a large mixing bowl (glaze will be very thick). Spoon about 1/2 teaspoons glaze onto each button (alternatively, fill a resealable plastic bag with glaze and cut a small hole in 1 corner; pipe glaze in an even circle around edges of cookies, then fill). Decorate with sprinkles, colored sugar, or dragées, if desired. Let stand on rack at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for glaze to set. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Other tasty treats with an adult twist (Bourbon) are the:


Yield: 5-/2 dozen

Prep   10 mins
Bake  350°F   8 mins  to  10 mins
Bourbon Pecan Spritz

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans NOTE: make sure your pecans are VERY FINELY ground because they will not go through the cookie press and your cookies will be uneven and unattractive…which is sort of what happened to us…
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • Chocolate-Bourbon Glaze:
  • 4 squares (1 ounce each) white or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and salt until fluffy, 3 minutes. On low speed, beat in flour until smooth; stir in pecans and bourbon.IMG_1574

2. Put dough into cookie press fitted with 1-inch sawtooth ribbon disk. Press out long strips on baking sheets. With floured knife, score strips crosswise every 1-1/2 inches.IMG_1662IMG_1663IMG_1664

3. Bake in 350 degrees F oven until edges are light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut cookies along score lines; let cool on rack.IMG_1665

Glaze:4. In small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate at 100% power 1 to 1-1/2 minutes; stir until smooth. Stir in bourbon and cream. Dip end of cookie in chocolate; place on waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with pecans. Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate to set.     IMG_1731

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