July 29, 2008 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Where can I get those delicious Belgian cookies, Speculoos, in the US? I'm looking for store recs. in New York or mail order options.
posted by anonymous78 to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Biscoff cookies are not exactly the same, but a reasonable facsimile, in my opinion. (Actually in reading the website it does refer to them as Speculoos.) I've seen them at Walgreens in Minnesota, and you can order them from tons of places online.
posted by cabingirl at 6:46 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've seen them at World Market, but like all things there- as soon as you go looking for it they won't carry it.
posted by piedmont at 6:48 AM on July 29, 2008


To help you in your search, the same food is called 'speculaas' in Dutch.
posted by atrazine at 6:48 AM on July 29, 2008

Looks like you can order them online from here.
posted by lullaby at 7:25 AM on July 29, 2008

the same food is called 'speculaas' in Dutch

Actually, according to this (click to open the comments way way down at the bottom), speculaas and speculoos are not the same. Knowing what speculaas are (they're fairly commonly available stateside as "windmill" cookies, thin, almondy), I would agree that speculoos in the Biscoff variety, with chocolate and/or caramel, is not the same thing.

Also, according to this Dutch dictionary page, (you have to trust my translation of it), "Some Belgian manufacturers consciously call their products speculoos in order to indicate that there are no speculaas- or cakespices in it. Speculaas, to them, is the typical Dutch full-flavored spice cookie (or cake), and speculoos is the typical Belgian cake with cinnamon and caramel." The suffix -loos means "less", ie., without.
posted by beagle at 7:31 AM on July 29, 2008

I love those cookies!! Biscoff are sold at Publix supermarkets in Tallahassee, FL (and, I assume, in other towns as well) but I've never seen them in any stores on Long Island (NY).
posted by Jemstar at 7:38 AM on July 29, 2008

Well, I can hook you up if you ever come to Tokyo! They're very popular here (so good with coffee!) and readily available in an increasing number of food shops and grocery stores. Lotus brand*, that is.

*Note their hilariously earnest explanation of their use of "cookies". Just what you'd expect from a bakery website, I suppose!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:42 AM on July 29, 2008

And yes, they call them speculoos.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:55 AM on July 29, 2008

And Lotus=Biscoff in the US, according their markets page.
posted by beagle at 7:59 AM on July 29, 2008

Looks like you can order them online from here.

Actually you can't.... whoever runs that website forgot to put an "Add To Cart" button on the product.
posted by tinkertown at 8:10 AM on July 29, 2008

...whoever runs that website forgot to put an "Add To Cart" button on the product.

I think these bakery websites are just all in a tizzy about "cookies", and, well, they're confused about it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:50 AM on July 29, 2008

The book "Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments" by David Lebovitz (from 21007 or 2006) includes a recipe for these cookies. I haven't tried it, and I have been adapting his recipes instead of slavishly obeying them, but it might be useful if you have access to a kitchen and a spirit of adventure.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:08 AM on July 29, 2008

If you want to go the DIY method, a google search for speculoos recipe throw up a few results, and liek most cookies, they look like fairly simple things to cook if you can get hold of dark brown sugar...
posted by nielm at 11:40 AM on July 29, 2008

beagle, speaking as a Belgian here, speculaas and speculoos are indeed used as synonyms. Some regions are more partial to speculaas, some to speculoos. Although, it's not as simple as that.

Your own link to vrttaal.net (excellent source, btw) supports this statement, these are the first sentences:

The official Dutch word is speculaas.
According to Van Dale
(the leading Dutch dictionary) speculoos is a seldomly used Belgian-Dutch synonym. In fact, it's a term used due to commercial reasons.

Indeed, there are two variations of the cookie. They can be made using a spice mix ("speculaaskruiden", including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg,...) or using only cinnamon. The first you would call speculaas, the latter speculoos. We would both call them speculaas. (And, were I to live in another region, I would refer to both as speculoos.)

When I bake this cookie, I prefer the cinnamon version and thick, chewy cookies instead of thin, crispy cookies. But, mine are still called speculaas.

To summarize: the shops sell speculaas and speculoos, which are called speculaas and speculaas, although they can also be referred to as speculoos and speculoos.

Confusing Belgians, eh :)
posted by lioness at 5:08 AM on August 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks Lioness. I was relying on the distinctions laid out on VRTaal.net. Confusion, indeed. I might add, my family comes from the island of Texel, where the "banketbakkerijen" (especially Timmer's) sell an inch-thick, dry, somewhat crumbly "koek" called speculaas, very different from either of the types of cookies we're talking about. It's sold in sheets about 6 x 12 inches, usually. I'm guessing it contains almond paste and it's topped with a crust of whole almonds. (But it's not the same as "gevulde speculaas" sold elsewhere which has a thick layer of almond paste. It's sort of an "ongevulde" version of that.) Excellent with your morning kop koffie. This may be a Texel specialty, or at least a North-Holland specialty. They also sell something called kleikoek (clay-cake), which is the chewiest, driest spice cake you ever had. I think it's got some rye flour in it to make it so tough.

So in any event, in the Netherlands speculaas doesn't always mean speculaas, either.
posted by beagle at 5:49 AM on August 5, 2008

"inch-thick, dry, somewhat crumbly "koek" called speculaas"

Oh, that's a much better description than my "thick, chewy cookies". This kind of speculaas is my favourite!
My version differs in ingredients (no almonds), but indeed, I bake the dough on baking sheets and cut it in rather large strips after baking.
I can recommend this thicker speculaas (but not the very crumbly one) to make gingerbread speculaas houses.

To be honest, I don't really like the thin cookie version this thread is talking about. I had never heard of kleikoek, but it does sound good, so I'll look into that, thanks!

Maybe we could promote the usage of the word speculuus to indicitate the thicker version of speculaas and add even further to the confusion...
posted by lioness at 6:56 AM on August 5, 2008

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