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10 finished cookies

Yo, yo ho, a pirates life for me! A bottle of rum, a cargo of spice, eat up me hearties yo ho!

This month we’ve been inspired to cook up a little something special for the craft spot to mark the auspicious International Talk Like a Pirate Day and give a nod to historical golden age piracy as we prepare for our summer Pirates exhibition.

Way back when, if a swashbuckler, a privateer, a buccaneer, a cosair or any other variety of glorified maritime criminal we now know as a pirate was fortunate enough to succeed in overtaking a nice merchant vessel, their treasure most likely was a combination of trade cargo-exotic animals (like parrots and monkeys), precious fabrics, some coins, rum and spices! Spices were, for a time, just as valuable as silver or gold. Pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves were the makers of empires. When the plague took hold of Europe in the 17th century, nutmeg was thought to hold a miracle cure and could be sold in London at 68,000 times its original price.

So spices and gold doubloons it would seem, go well together.

This recipe for speculaas (dutch spice) cookies is wonderfully easy to make with children. Our chef at Yots café created it for a series of kids cooking workshops we held some time ago.

A little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, quick to cook and quick to eat and all dressed up in glorious golden sparkly shiny colour! Perfect for your own Talk Like a Pirate Day celebrations, your pirate party needs or afternoon tea anytime.

1 ingredients2 ingredients


  • A copy of the Speculaas recipe
  • All the ingredients for your speculaas recipe
  • A large bowl, wooden spoon, board, kitchen scales and tablespoon
  • Small round cookie cutters (or lids make fine improvised cookie cutters)
  • Baking trays and baking paper

To decorate:

  • Gold edible spray paint (found at spotlight or cake decorating stores)
  • Gold/pearl/silver edible glitter (available at coles)
  • A treasure chest

Optional decorations:

  • Some royal icing
  • Some bakers string and a needle
  • Black writing gel
  • Any other decorations you like

3 dough

4 dough circles


Make up your speculaas recipe according to instructions. There’s nothing dangerous about this recipe so perfect for involving children in the making and baking process. Cut the dough into circles of different sizes. Don’t brush the tops with egg and almonds for this version as it will make the spray paint and glitter less effective in appearance.

If you have odd bits left over you can cut up some other geometric shapes like triangles (gem stones) to bake as well.

5 finished cookies


Once your cookies are finished baking, lay the out on a tray to cool.

6 spray cookies7 sparkle cookies8 decorate cookies


Spray your cooled cookies with an even covering of the gold edible spray paint and sprinkle with a little gold edible glitter.

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If you wish to make some extra treasure decorations, rolling some royal icing into beads and threading them onto bakers string using a darning needle makes a pretty string of pearls. Cover in a spot of sugary water and sprinkle with more pearly glitter for effect.

You might also like to cover some other shapes in icing cement and silver cachous for decoration.

10 finished cookies11 up close cookies12 up close cookies


Place the cookies into your treasure box with any added decorations you please. Time to put your delicious doubloons out for the plunderers!

Yarr, this be a daring and delicious treat for a peckish pirate!

You can find more great craft ideas on our kids make and do page.

We’re celebrating Talk Like a Pirate day with a whole day of Family Fun this weekend. Check out the program online.


Annalice Creighton

Annalice is the public programs coordinator at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Posted in: Kids and family