This is a recipe for traditional Dutch Pepernoten (mini spiced cookies) which are traditionally eaten in the Netherlands by the bucket load during the months of November and December.
These little cookies are associated with the Dutch Sinterklaas Tradition (you can read more about this here).
The Dutch children go crazy for these little biscuits and get handfuls of them during a procession that takes place when Sinterklaas arrives in the land on his steam boat.
They are delicious served with coffee and the kids absolutely love having a little bowl of these cookies as a treat after school.
The Difference Between Pepernoten And Kruidnoten
There are actually two types of little biscuits; pepernoten (pepper nuts) and kruidnoten (spice nuts). Traditionally the pepernoten are actually more like taai taai (chewy aniseed flavoured cookies) and the kruidnoten are little round crunchy biscuits which are flavoured with a Dutch Spice Mix.
The two names are regularly interchanged and everyone calls kruidnoten; pepernoten.
So this whilst this recipe is actually a kruidnoten recipe we will call it pepernoten as that is what the most Dutch people call them.
Pepernoten (mini dutch spice cookies)
- 250 grams Self Raising Flour
- 125 grams Brown Sugar
- 100 grams Butter Softened
- 1.5 tbsp Dutch Spice Mix
- 50 ml Milk
- 1 pinch Salt
Pre-heat your oven to 180 °C / 350 ℉ / Gas Mark 4
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to mix the softened butter until it is soft and fluffy.
Add the flour, sugar, spice mix, milk and salt.
Mix the ingredients together until all the ingredients are combined and has the consistency of dough (this can be done either by hand or by using a dough hook on your kitchen aid).
Now take small pieces of dough and roll in to small balls that are about the size of a marble (approx 1.5cm) and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Allow a little space between the pepernoten.
Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
When ready remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool the pepernoten should have a quite hard crunchy texture. Store the the pepernoten in an air tight container.
Here in the Netherlands the Dutch Spice Mix used for this recipe is readily available in all the supermarkets. If you can't find it in the supermarkets in your country you could always replace it with an All Spice Mix (UK) or Pumpkin Spice Mix (US) - these spice mixes will taste a little different but are good alternatives.
Alternatively you could have a go at mixing your own. There are a lot of recipes out there on the internet all with slightly different ingredients/quantities.
This time I used a supermarket spice mix but I plan to try making my own over the next couple of weeks. Once I have a good combination I will add the recipe to the blog (you can easily subscribe so that you don't miss it).
Alternatively you can also buy it here; Dutch Speculaas Seasoning Mix
Making Pepernoten With The Kids
In the Netherlands you can buy these everywhere, in the shops, supermarkets and bakeries. Whilst these are yummy, home baked is always best in my book. 🙂
This is a great recipe to get your kids involved with as their little fingers are perfect for rolling all the little dough balls.
This was the first time we had made them at home and they were really simple to do.
In fact the girls showed me how to make them – they were already little pepernoten experts as they had made these at school and knew exactly what to do.
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What’s your favourite recipe you like to make with the kids?
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