Pepernoten / Pepper Nuts

So yesterday (Dec 5th) was a national holiday here in Holland. Not the kind of holiday that gets you free from work or an excuse to show up the next day with a hangover though. It's more a small celebration - mainly for children - where everyone exchanges presents, write cheesy poems to each other and eat loads of pepernoten. Sort of a prelude to Christmas. Well I haven't seen a gift-wrapped present at my chimney since I was a little girl, but we continue the tradition with - of course - the food. Clementines, speculaas and pepernoten.

Pepernoten and Advocaat Liqueur

What are pepernoten you may ask. The translation for pepernoten would be pepper nuts. They're little, round, crisp cookies that are full of spices; cinnamon, white pepper, ginger and cloves just to name a few. They're absolutely my favorite thing to eat this time of year! And it's so great that I can make them myself now because I'm not much in the mood lately to go to the grocery store in this snowmageddon ... Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pepernoten: adapted from

- 1 cup self-rising flour (125gr)
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar (75gr)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (50gr)
- ¼ cup milk (25ml)
- 1 tablespoon speculaas spices*
- Pinch of salt

* Speculaas Spices:
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

- Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
- Put all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer attached with the dough hooks until just combined, about 1 minute. Use your hands to knead the dough until everything is combined and has a dark brown color.
- Shape the dough into little balls by rolling it between your hands. Put the dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the pepernoten for 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.



Chele said…
I love finding out about all the traditions from other countries. I'll need to remember this for next year, they look like a real treat.
Unknown said…
Loving your unusal recipes, well unusal to me, usual to you I'm sure. I love Christmas spices and even make my own mix, I will be using it a lot in the coming weeks, maybe I should give these a try. x
alexandtheweb said…
Pepper nuts! *snicker*

These look lovely - I wonder how long they'd keep?
Paris Pastry said…
@alexandtheweb: They keep very, very long! Several weeks, but they'll never last that long I'm afraid ;-)
A Bowl Of Mush said…
I loooove these!!
I made the same thing last year but covered in powdered sugar was delicious!
Unknown said…
oh these look really delicious!
Lucie said…
Mmmm! These look delicious. Our celebration was yesterday--St Nicolas--but I was at work!
Delicious looking, as always! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!
These sound like such wonderful little morsels. Happy holidays!
apparentlyjessy said…
These bring back memories!! As a kid I went to German school on Saturdays, and there was a German bakery selling tasty goods there at recess! At Christmas she would have lots of biscuits and my Mum would buy up big, these were some of my favourites, perhaps I should give this recipe a try for nostalgia's sake!

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