Pepernoten Recipe – Mini Dutch Spice Cookies

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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 steamboat.

They are delicious served with coffee and the kids absolutely love having a little bowl of these cookies as a treat after school.

Pepernoten Recipe - Dutch Mini Spiced Cookies - Delicious & Fun Recipe To Cook With The Kids
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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-flavored cookies) and the kruidnoten are little round crunchy biscuits that are flavoured with a Dutch Spice Mix.

You can either make it yourself (here is the recipe ->  Dutch Spice Mix Recipe  or you can buy it ready-made ->  Where To Buy Dutch Spice Mix)

The two names are regularly interchanged and everyone calls kruidnoten; pepernoten.

So whilst this recipe is actually a kruidnoten recipe we will call it pepernoten as that is what most Dutch people call them.

Pepernoten Recipe - Dutch Mini Spiced Cookies Recipe

Pepernoten (mini dutch spice cookies)

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Dutch
Keyword: dutch, pepernoten, spiced cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 70 Pepernoten
Calories: 30kcal
Author: Sam Franklin
This traditional Dutch pepernoten (or kruidnoten) recipe makes a whole tray of delicious mini spiced cookies.  These are normally eaten around the on and around the 5th of December when Sinterklaas (the Dutch father Christmas) is visiting the Netherlands.  They are fun to cook with the kids and are so yummy that they never tend to last for long.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 250 grams Self Raising Flour (2 Cups)
  • 125 grams Brown Sugar (5/8 Cup)
  • 100 grams Butter Softened (1/2 Cup)
  • 2 tbsp Dutch Spice Mix
  • 50 ml Milk (3 1/3 Tbsp or 1.7 fl.oz)
  • 1 pinch Salt

Instructions

  • 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 into 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 pepernoten in an air-tight container.

Notes

Here in the Netherlands, the Dutch Spice Mix used in 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.  Here is my Recipe For Dutch Spice Mix.
Alternatively, you can also buy it here; Dutch Speculaas Seasoning Mix

Nutrition

Calories: 30kcal

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.

Pepernoten Recipe - Dutch Mini Spiced Cookies - Delicious & Fun Recipe To Cook With The Kids
Kids Making Pepernoten (Mini Dutch Spice Cookies)

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.

I hope you will have a go at making these as it is a really fun recipe to do with the kids.

If you do decide to make it then make sure you pin this recipe so you can find it again later.

Pepernoten Recipe
Homemade Dutch Pepernoten Recipe

Cooking With Kids

Do you like to cook with your kids?  Then you may like to try some of my other easy ideas for cooking with kids.

Healthy Peanut Butter, Banana Cookies

Fun Healthy Tulip Snacks (with cheese & carrots)

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18 thoughts on “Pepernoten Recipe – Mini Dutch Spice Cookies

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      Thanks so much for stopping by. I popped over to take a look at your blog – I love the Norwegian recipes and style! I had never heard of Hygge (yes I had my head under my fluffy pillows) but I am definitely in to it and it was interesting reading about it too 🙂

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    I love kid friendly recipes!
    So much fun!
    Looking forward to trying these!
    Thanks
    Michelle

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    • at
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      Thanks for stopping by Michelle. Yes these are so much fun to make with the kids 🙂

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    My Dutch friend Katja in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada sent me your recipe here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was part of a hilarious tv commercial for an insurance company in Holland! I’m going to make them for my grandchildren … but she said there was a little marshmallow inside. Is that a different twist?

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      Hi Heather, you do tend to see different variations here such as covering them in chocolate, salted caramel etc but I have never seen or heard of them with marshmallows in them. Sounds yum though! I’d love to hear if you do try doing it with a marshmallow and if it worked or not.

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        I made a double batch last night … vey easy and easy to enjoy as well! Turns out the marshmallow actually comes into play with this recipe by tossing little marshmallow candies in with the finished cookie to serve … and not by baking them inside! These are perfect for little ones I think – as they are soft enough for them to chew. Cheers!

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    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! While visiting in the Netherlands, we recently made peppernoten from a mix. But I knew that they could not be too hard to make from scratch. Before we head back to the US, I’m going to be sure to pick up a bag of spices! My son is having a holiday traditions celebration in his class, and we’re supposed to bring a dish. As he’ll be sharing about Sinterklaas, we will definitely make these peppernoten to share with the class!

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      Hi Kate, Oh yes this recipe is so easy and fun to make with the kids and they will go down an absolute treat with his classmates.

      Reply
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    5 stars
    I made these yesterday – but they spread out so much on my baking sheet! I tried chilling the second batch, but had the same problem. Any suggestions? They are delicious, but I was hoping for the crunchy cookie pictured!

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      Hi Mary, I don’t know if you finally had any luck with making these (sorry for the late reply, I have been having a break from the blog). It could be that your dough was too wet as the consistency should be quite firm, I have heard that the water content of butter can vary which could make a difference. You could try adding a little less milk or adding a little more flour. Also maybe the balls are a little too large. We have made this recipe a lot of times and it always works for us but it would be interesting to know if any of these tips make a difference.

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    5 stars
    These are so delicious! better than I remember them as a child.
    I really appreciate you sharing this recipe.

    Thanks!

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      We love this recipe too, glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply
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    Hello. I cant wait to try these. I am really wanting and have been trying to find recipes from Netherlands, because it’s where my ancestors are from. And I want to share this with my kids. I’ve been trying to convert it to Us measurements but am having trouble and I don’t ant to guess my 1st time making them. Do you happen to know them?

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      Hi Marla, yes you can see by your name where your ancestors are from. They really are so easy so I think slight differences in measurements wouldn’t make to much difference. To help you I have converted all the measurements to US measurements and updated them on the post. I’m sure your kids will really enjoy making them (and eating them).

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        Oh thank you! I am making these today….so excited! Also my son is learning the metric system at school now, so I’m going to have him work out the measurements also. 🙂
        I am sure these will become part of a Christmas tradition.

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    Hi I tried these today and carefully measured, but the dough never really held together. It was more like semi-wet sand. Ideas? Maybe I will try adding a bit more milk next time, and a bit more sugar to sweeten them a little more. I used a teaspoon to make the balls and got 58 out of the batch. They are pretty good!

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      Hi Sara, it could be to do with the sugar. In the Netherlands they have something called donkere bruin basterdsuiker which is normally used in this recipe. I don’t think you can get it in most other countries and I believe brown sugar is the closest for taste but it is a little more coarse. I know the consistency is a little more moist than normal sugar (a bit like the texture of muscovado sugar but that has a different taste). I have done some reading on other Dutch sites and they say to make your own to mix caster/fine sugar with a little dark syrup. Also it helps to pop the mix in the fridge. I think I will have a little play with the sugar to see what comes closest and report back.

      Reply

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