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From my kitchen to yours :: Dutch Christmas Cookies

November 15, 2012 | Comment ( 15 Comments )
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For those of you who don't know, I have a Dutch connection in the family. There's a whole celebration the Dutch have which culminates on the eve of the 5th December, which is the night Sinterklaas (the Dutch equivalent to Santa Claus) and his helper Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) leave presents and lollies for the children (If you're Dutch, please forgive my interpretation- it's a very short description).


I'm told that it's a huge celebration in the Netherlands, with Sinterklaas arriving by boat from Spain in mid November, to streets lined with people from the town come to welcome him and Zwarte Piet. 

The tradition varies between families, but I'm told that each night you leave your clogs at your door after Sinterklaas has arrived you will receive lollies in return along with traditional Dutch biscuits called "Pepernoten"…but you need to be singing traditional Sinterklaas songs. Which brings me to the point of this post. Today's recipe is for traditional Christmas Cookies, which I'm told by a reliable source (hopefully) that they taste quite like the Dutch biscuits-"Pepernoten."

copyright red brolly bronwyn hayesThese Christmas biscuits create the most delicious, Christmassy smell when baking. It really does make the house smell like wafts of Christmas. They taste a bit like gingerbread, but are softer and have a hint of extra spice :)

Today I'll share with you how to make these traditional Christmas biscuits, but I do have another use for this recipe which I'll share with you in a later post.Red-brolly-christmas-cookies

This will make (depending on the size of your cookie cutter) about 30-35 cookies.

What you'll need is a rolling pin and some miniature Christmas cookie cutters. You'll also need…


60g butter

160ml golden syrup

260g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup mixed peel, chopped

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 tablespoon milk


Sift all dry ingredients together. Add peel.

Melt the butter and the golden syrup together. When melted remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.



Add the milk to the dry ingredients and the cooled butter mixture.


Stir until combined.
Red-brolly-christmas-cookies-step3Leave to stand for about 1 hr. To speed the process up a bit, you can chill the dough in the fridge for 30 mins.

Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease oven trays.

Red-brolly-christmas-cookies-step4Once dough is rested, knead slightly until dough looses its stickiness.
Red-brolly-christmas-cookies-step6Roll out dough out on a floured surface until 8mm thick. Using your cookie cutter, cut out desired shape.



 Bake in a moderate oven for 10 mins, or until they are golden brown on the edges. Cool.


Once cool, dust with sifted icing sugar.

Voila! Traditional Dutch "Pepernoten" Christmas Biscuits. They would look great in one of my Christmas Goodie bags ;-) Now I don't know if they taste like they are supposed to, but there were none left at the end of the day and I got the thumbs up from the Dutchman!


November 15, 2012 | Comment ( 15 Comments )
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      • Says Annelies

        Nice to see pepernoten like that.
        I am from The Netherlands and Sinterklaas is indeed a huge celebration, but Sinterklaas is not the same as Santa Claus.
        A lot of people in The Netherlands celebrate them both.
        And as for your Sinterklaas song: Zie ginds komt de stoomboot uit Spanje weer aan, hij brengt on Sint Nicolaas ik zie hem al staan……..

      • Says Birgitte

        I am from the Netherlands too. This weekend on Saturday Sinterklaas is arriving in the Netherlands. Children hardly can’t wait.
        It is a huge fest for them. And the adults too.

      • Says Heleen Groot

        To add to the comments Annelies and Brigitte made….. Hoe huppelt zijn paardje het dek op en neer, hoe waaaaaaaien de wimpels al heen en al weeeer!Just to make sure you know the right lines to sing! The cookies are eaten in The Netherlands too (all year long) we call them Speculaas!

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