Pepernoten are here!

Many people asked me to share the recipe for pepernoten which I made last weekend, so here they are 🙂 It´s a typical Dutch treat made especially for Sinterklaas, that is St Nicholas Day. Of course, traditionally they are made with white flour, butter, dark sugar (“basterd suiker”) and milk, mine are naturally a macro version! 😀 It´s actually my own recipe based on reading several pepernoten recipes on (mostly) Dutch websites. I think I came pretty close to the real thing, but there definitely are many varieties of this gingerbread-like tiny cookie!

I used:

250 g spelt flour

3 g baking powder (aluminum-free)

100 g coconut oil

100 g mixture of barley malt and maple syrup (use more maple syrup if you want them sweet, mine are very mild! :-p)

a pinch of salt

3-4 TBSP rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1-2 TBSP speculaas spices mix (2 TBSP make for a rather spicy dough, so be careful!)

For the speculaas mix you can either buy “speculaaskruiden” in a shop (in Holland at least…) or make your own blend such as this one:

2 tsp cinnamon – 1 tsp ground cloves – 1 tsp ground cardamom – 1/2 tsp ginger powder – 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg – 1/2 tsp ground aniseed

First whisk the coconut oil until soft and creamy (mine was not liquid because it´s winter and the coconut oil is more solid than liquid, which is fine for this recipe I think, it sort of mimics butter). Add in all other ingredients and mix well with your hands. Knead into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour. If you let it there longer, it will be a bit harder to work with, but kneading it again once more will solve this problem for the most part. When the dough is ready, chip off little pieces at a time and roll about 1 cm in diameter large “marbles”. Place them about 2 cm apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them 15-20 minutes on 160°C in a preheated oven, until their bottoms are just slightly browned, I imagine they could burn easily 😀

Before being baked

Before being baked

after baking

after baking

I dipped some of my pepernoten in a chocolate dip, but I don´t have exact measurements for that one, as I was experimenting a little bit :-p Basically…I put a smaller steel pot into a larger one full of water, so that the smaller pot was partially submerged in the water (it´s called officially “bain- marie”) and I brought the bottom pot to a gentle boil. In the smaller pot I heated some coconut oil and slowly whisked in cocoa powder, maple syrup, corn starch (watch out for lumps!) and a tiny pinch of salt. The mixture shouldn´t boil but the starch has to thicken. The chocolate sauce should be shiny, smooth and thick enough so that you can dip the pepernoten in it and it doesn´t all drip off…you have to adjust that yourself! 😀

Happy baking!

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