December 6, 2014
6th December – St.Nicholas day!
Kruidnoten [spice-nuts] or pepernoten [pepper-nuts] are a traditional Dutch seasonal treat. They are an integral part of the Sinterklaas [St.Nicholas] celebrations. It’s a very important day in The Netherlands. Sinterklaar arrives in Amsterdam on a boat and rides through the land on a white horse [he seriously still does so]! So if you happen to meet a bearded, red cloaked dude on a horse who throws cookies at you – it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are drunk. And the cookies he throws are – Kruidnoten!
The tiny cookies are crunchy and flavored with a lot of spice. They are usually eaten with a glass of milk. If you don’t have / want to make ‘speculaas spice‘ you can substitute with any other ‘warm’ spice [cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin-pie-spice,…].
_ combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices
_ rub in the softened butter
_ add one tablespoon milk until it forms a cohesive dough [if you roll a small piece in your hands and it holds its shape – you are good]
_ test the raw mixture to see if you would prefer more spices
_ preheat oven to 160°C
_ roll pieces of the dough into consistently shaped rolls
_ cut dough into [more or less] same sized pieces
_ roll into little balls [about 1 cm in diameter]
_ put on a baking sheet leaving a little space between them [they will grow a little bigger]
_ bake for 15-20 minutes [test by cutting one in half and seeing if it still looks wet inside]
_ cool them and store them in an airtight container