December 5th the Dutch celebrate “Sinterklaas”. I won’t be posting too much about the actual holiday, but I will just intoduce you to the yummy treats this holy saint brings with him each year…
(if you DO want to know more about this holiday and its origin go check out this page on Wikipedia)
Kruidnoten are little gingerbread-style cookies. They are yummy and very easy to make!!!
First of all you will need to have Speculaaskruiden (a mixture of different spices used for this recipe). You can buy sachets of speculaaskruiden (or speculaas spices) online. But you can easily substitute pumpkin pie spices. Or you can make them yourself…which always tastes the best…
You will need:
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1/3 tsp ground ginger
- 1/5 tsp ground white pepper (a pinch)
- 1/5 tsp ground cardamom (a pinch)
- 1/5 tsp ground coriander seeds (a pinch)
- 1/5 tsp ground anise seeds (a pinch)
- 1/5 tsp grated nutmeg (a pinch)
- If you can’t find (or don’t have) some of the ingredients you can leave them out BUT make sure you do at least include the cinnamon, cloves, mace and ginger!!!
- If you only have whole spices you can grind them yourself using a coffee grinder or a food processor and fine sieve.
Mix all the spices really well in a bowl or on a wooden board.
Once the spices are mixed well, scoop them into a little container. Mix again with the back end of a teaspoon, or put the lid on and shake.Your speculaaskruiden are now ready to use!!!!
So on to the actual Kruidnoten-recipe…
- 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour (200 g)
- 1/2 cup donkerbruine basterdsuiker (see Tips) or pure cane sugar (demerera) (100 g)
- 7 tbsp butter (100 g)
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 4 tsp speculaaskruiden (or pumpkin pie spice)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- The finely grated zest of half an orange
- 1 egg white, beaten
Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead (you may use a mixer with a dough hook attachment). You should be able to shape the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands. Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour. This allows the spices to work their magic.
Preheat the oven to 347 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease a cookie sheet.
Wet your hands and roll little marble-sized balls of dough (of approx. 1/2 inch/12 mm). Place dough balls on the cookie sheet. Using your thumb, gently press down on each cookie to flatten slightly. Brush with egg white. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies puff up and turn a slightly darker shade of brown. Allow to cool.
Makes about 100 kruidnoten.
Dip the (cooled) kruidnoten in some melted chocolate and allow to harden on parchment paper…