Pepernoten | A Traditional Dutch Treat

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One of the best things about the festive season is the food. As my American friends are currently prepping for Thanksgiving, across the Atlantic in Ireland we are waiting patiently for Christmas to arrive (38 days!!). In the Netherlands, the holiday season is already in full swing as this weekend Sinterklaas arrived on his steamboat from Spain into Gouda. I wrote a post exactly one year ago with a brief explanation on the legend of Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet if you’d like a crash course on Dutch festivities, but all you really need to know right now is that around this time of year pepernoten are everywhere. Pepernoten are delicious tiny spiced biscuits that are traditionally eaten around the festive season in the Netherlands.

I love pepernoten almost as much as the Dutch do! This time last year I used to buy a bag or two every week. Think gingernut biscuits, but better! Traditionally pepernoten are square in shape and made with aniseed to give them that liquoricey flavour the Dutch love. However, these days they seem to be very similar to kruidnoten, which are more gingery than liquoricey, and hard rather than slightly chewy. Since I don’t have the luxury of popping into Albert Heijn to pick up a bag of pepernoten right now, I decided to make my own to share with my family. There are so many recipes on the internet for both pepernoten and kruidnoten, so I decided to combine the best of them all! This recipe is so simple, and takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. What are you waiting for?

You Will Need
200g Self-Raising Flour
150g Brown Sugar
50g Butter
3/4 Tsp Aniseed.
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Cloves
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

Warning – your kitchen is about to smell like Christmas. Are you prepared?

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1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F.

2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.

3. Mix in all the spices.

4. Sift in the flour and mix until all ingredients combine into a soft dough. If the dough is too dry, try adding in a little bit of milk.

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5. Now for the fun part. Roll the dough into tiny balls and place on baking tray. This may take up to 15 minutes – I made approx 75 pepernoten from the dough! There is no need to space them too far apart as they will not expand too much in the oven.

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6. Pop into the oven for 10-15minutes. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your little brother eagerly waiting for the pepernoten to be ready because, and a I quote, “they smell amazing” 😉

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7. Leave to cool… if you can resist! To remove the pepernoten from the tray, simply twist each pepernoot gently.

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8. Serve and enjoy!

I could not be more happy with the way these turned out, from their round shape and golden brown appearance to their heavenly flavour and delectable crunch! The only problem is that it’s so easy to eat 20 of them at once. The struggle is real folks!

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Pepernoten – delicious Dutch spiced cookies that passed the little brother taste test. And you know if they’re little brother approved, they must be good!



This Day Last Year: 17th November 2013 – Sinterklaas Is Coming To Town



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