Let’s talk about Pepernoten. Let’s talk about Sinterklaas. Let’s talk about the Netherlands. It is the cutest country there is. I had the pleasure living there for the past 4 years. And I really wanna go back. Especially next week, on the 5th of December, when Sinterklaas is coming to town. He basically is like Santa, just that Saint Nicholas comes from Spain on a boat bringing with him his Zwarte Pieten. Let’s not talk about them though, cause I tried to read into the whole bringing-little-black-face-helpers-with-you-thing and there are various opinions on it. The best, I guess, is that Sinterklaas freed a black slave named Petrus once and that he stayed to help him ever since. And somehow he duplicated. It’s true I saw a bunch of them jumping through the streets, smiling happily at me. Anyway, enjoy your Pepernoten, these little spiced cookies Sinterklaas brings with him. And you don’t even have to be a good kid or wait for them. Just bake a bunch this weekend it’s the easiest thing. I can’t though, I will be waiting at the nearest river for Sinterklaas passing by.


400g plain white flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
sprinkle of salt
250g cold butter
250g dark brown sugar
spritzers of lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground star anise
(a good 3 tsp. of all this already in a spice mix!)

Start with cutting up the butter and rubbing it in the dry ingredients, waiting with sugar until roughly combined. Add the lemon juice, just so much so that you have well combined soft dough that is not flaky anymore. Put the dough half an hour in the fridge (in plastic wrap) to cool. Then form little balls, put them for 10-15 minutes at a 180°C oven.

And if you feel fancy (I often feel fancy) dip them in chocolate, any kind want, even white is good. One bite, they’re gone. 

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