I enjoy making these unusual cookies, which remind me of growing up in a Flemish family in a very Flemish neighborhood in Moline, Illinois. I can remember going with my Grandpa DeGreve to Mrs Drummonds’s kitchen door around the back of her house to pick up fresh lukken and spicy cookies called speculaas. Several years ago, my parents bought me a lukken iron (it actually says “lukkenyzer” on it!) after I proved that I could make a creditable lukken in a krumkake iron (that’s the Scandinavian name for a similar cookie). These cookies are fun to make, one at a time, of course, and delicious. I use Mrs. Charles King’s recipe from the “Center for Belgian Culture of Western Illinois Cookbook”


1 c. butter
3 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
4 c. flour
pinch of salt
2 oz. whiskey

Melt the butter, then cool and add the eggs. Add the whiskey, sugar and salt. Finally, add the flour. Roll the dough into little balls about the size of the tip of your thumb. Cook them about 45 seconds on each side in a hot iron.

Notes: I usually go a little heavier on the brown sugar and a little lighter on the white sugar. You can use a lukken, krumkake or pizzelle iron to make these, but they taste the best when they get the little waffle lukken pattern on them, ha ha. The real trick is getting the iron to the right temperature to make the cookies caramelize the way you like them. The flavor changes a lot from golden brown to “sugar ice cream cone” brown–you should experiment to see which flavor you like best. The Moliners like their lukken pretty well done, with a nice caramel flavor.