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The Best Belgian Cookie: Spéculoos

Spéculoos are a Small Belgian Culinary Tradition with Your Coffee

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Picture of the Best Belgian Cookie Shop, Dandoy

Dandoy's spéculoos shop near the Grand Place in Brussels.

Photo by Alison Stein Wellner
Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference on a culinary trip -- small traditions that transform something that you consume without much notice at home into a travel memory that endures.

Like, for example, a cup of coffee. In Belgium, the coffee tends to be quite good, but it's about the same as good coffee anywhere. What transforms it into a Belgian culinary delight is what's almost always resting on the saucer -- a spicy crunchy cookie called the spéculoo. These cookies contain cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and lots of brown sugar -- they're crisp and tasty and perfectly complement a cup of joe. Spéculoos are made by commercial bakers, but in Brussels, biscuit maker Dandoy makes a variety that's a cut above, as well as many other varieties of cookies at its packed and fragrant small shop near the Grand Place. (31 Rue au Beurre).

More Essential Belgian Eats: Waffles, Frites, Chocolate and More.
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