Belgian "Good Year" Cookies

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The treats I most associate with the holidays are small, crispy, Belgian cookies that look like thin waffles and taste buttery-good. At least one Flemish-Belgian cookbook I own calls them nieuwjaar's wafeltjes (New Year's waffle cookies), but my family, whose ancestors came from the French-speaking southern part of Belgium, calls them "boonohs,” a nickname that probably evolved from a French term for "good year."

My family uses an heirloom stovetop iron to make these, but you’ll need an electric Belgian cookie iron. They’re available from Palmer Manufacturing; call 724-872-8200 or visit and ask for Model #1110, which has the smallest grids.

The recipe yields 12 to 14 dozen cookies; they may be eaten as is (bet you can’t eat just one!) or used to make ice-cream sandwiches.



Cream butter with wooden spoon. Gradually add sugars, creaming all the while. Beat in eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour until stiff dough forms (less flour makes crispier cookies). Cover dough and let it chill overnight.

Roll chilled dough between palms of hands into balls that are slightly larger than marbles. Heat a fine-grid Belgian cookie iron. Keep extra dough balls chilled while you bake cookies one or two at a time in the cookie iron until they are golden brown. The amount of time depends on how hot the iron is and how cold and dense the dough is, but it shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two.

Cool cookies on racks. Store or freeze them airtight.

My Cookbook

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Charla Bench from CA, USA on September 24th, 2014
My family spoke French. Gauflettes taste wonderfully buttery. We made them in a iron on top of the stove. Sooo
Terese from Organic Valley on December 20th, 2011
Hello Jennifer - Yes, indeed, my family's cookies are very similar to the Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps. In fact, when we get "desperate" for a taste of Belgian "boonohs" during the non-holiday times of the year, we have been known to make a purchase. Once we bought a whole case for my sister in Florida, who doesn't have an iron to bake her own. Of course, we still like the homemade ones best. Let us know how yours turn out!
Terese A.
Jennifer from Pittsburgh, PA on December 19th, 2011
Hi Terese,
Thank you for posting this recipe. I am trying to find a recipe to make a crisp, sugary cookie *like* the Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps. Do you think this recipe is similar?
many thanks,

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