Inside Billings Lifestyle's Cookie Jar 1


A traditional Dutch spice cookie, Speculass has long been a Christmas time staple at Billings bakery Caramel Cookie Waffles. Typically made in molds, these cookies can also be rolled and cut much like gingerbread.

2 cups brown sugar
12 ounces unsalted butter, softened
3 ½ cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon clove
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt


  1. 1. Cream brown sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Add egg and combine.
  2. 2. In another bowl, sift dry ingredients before combining into butter mixture to create dough. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F before rolling dough and cutting with cookie cutters. You can also use a wooden cookie mold in the traditional Dutch fashion.
  4. 4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Cranberry Almond Squares

A favorite of chef Rich Boggs, this recipe pairs bright cranberry with almond and festive white chocolate.

“Cranberries have such a holiday feel,” he says. “They tend to be overlooked in desserts, so these bars are sure to stand out as a party treat or gift.”

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans
1 cup white chocolate chips


  1. 1. In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, extracts and salt. Add melted butter and combine.
  2. 2. In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder before gradually adding to the sugar mixture and mixing well. Fold in cranberries and nuts.
  3. 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer mixture to a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
  4. 4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. 5. While still hot, top with white chocolate chips, let sit for 5 minutes and spread to create topping.
  6. 6. Allow to cool fully before cutting into bars.