Windmill Spice Cookies


When I was growing up in the 1930s-40s, we didn’t have cookies very often.  My mother didn’t care to make them and we seldom had store-bought cookies.  Once in a great while, when there was a small amount of change left in the food budget, Mother would let us get a few large, brown, spicy windmill cookies that were sold in bulk from a big tin container in our corner grocery store.  I loved these cookies, particularly the bits of sliced almonds scattered here and there.

Sadly, the “windmill” cookies found now in plastic wrappers aren’t shaped like windmills, don’t have almonds and don’t taste nearly as good as I remember.  I found a recipe about 25 years ago that I thought was very reminiscent of the wonderful cookies of my childhood.


  • Servings: Depends on size of cutter and thickness of dough
  • Print

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream margarine and sugar, add egg and mix well.  Stir together the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.  Mix well.


Roll out on floured board to desired thickness (I like the crisp ones about 1/4″ thick).  Cut with floured cookie cutter and place an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.   Press sliced almonds into the cookies.


Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool. 


I have a nice collection of Dutch items and one of my favorites is this piece my daughter made for me a few years ago.  I love the Delft scenes all around the border.



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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

10 thoughts on “Windmill Spice Cookies”

  1. You are so cute! Can I adopt you? I love recipes that remind you of days of yore. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I am going to pass this on to a Dutch colleague of mine at work. She is always buying special Dutch food bits and pieces for her mum and the family. I know she would love to try these out. Straight away they reminded of a Dutch biscuit whose name escapes me…
    The windmill cutter is too pretty! We might have to make do with a star or a circle though… 🙂

  3. First, I made your potato rolls last week and they were fantastic. I was so excited I made rolls for the first time! Thank you, thank you. (And thank you too for the extra instructions.)

    Second, there is a spice cookie, sold in Philadelphia only in October, that I have been trying to replicate for decades for my husband. I’ve been leaning toward the German cookie recipes, and now I’m wondering if this might be it. I’ll tell you once I give your recipe a try.

    And I do so like the Delft colors and motif. I could easily decorate a room around that gorgeous piece your talented daughter made.

  4. The individual blog pages are printable, but to eliminate the pictures, you can highlight the recipe, copy and paste to a Word document.

  5. In talking with some friends last night, one mentioned that their favorite cookie in the world are Windmill Spice Cookies and they are only available at the holidays. I told him I’d find the recipe and make some and he can decide if they are close to the manufactured ones. Yours looks like a great recipe to try these with and I love your Easter Bunny cut out!

    1. Thank you for your nice comments and for introducing me to your blog. Your boys are so cute and your pictures are gorgeous. I’ll definitely be visiting often.

      Hope the cookies are what you were looking for. Lillian

  6. You are so cute. I’ve been craving these for awhile
    as they were a childhood fav of mine. Thanks so much for sharing. Tomorrow I will bake them – first I have to dig out my windmill cutter!

    1. Thank you for your nice comments. I hope you find your windmill cutter and that you enjoy the cookies. Lillian

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