Lola’s Kitchen is a feature on Lola’s Reviews where I talk about all things related to food, cooking and baking. These posts can be recipe posts, tens list posts about food or recipes or more discussion type posts about food. I love cooking and spend some time in the kitchen almost every day, so I wanted to give it a place on my blog as well. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Here in the Netherlands we celebrate “Sinterklaas” on 5 December, it’s mostly a festivity for smaller children, but there’s lots of candy you can only buy around this time of the year. One of my favourite Sinterklaas candies is Kruidnootjes, so I thought I would give it a try and make them myself and then share the recipe with you all.
I decided not to translate “Kruidnootjes” as there isn’t really a good translation for it, literally translated it would be something like Spiced Nuts, which doesn’t really give the right feel. Basically “Kruidnootjes” are very small, round cookies and they taste like spices, mainly cinnamon. Here in the Netherlands you can buy “Speculaas Kruiden” which is the spice mix used to make kruidnootjes, although I also will include a description of how to make this spice mix yourself for those of you who live outside the Netherlands and can’t buy “Speculaas Kruiden”. When I first made “Kruidnootjes” myself I was surprised at how easy it is to make. It only takes a few steps and there isn’t much chance to mess it up. And they taste even better than the storebrought variety.
A bit more about Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas traditionally arrives in the Netherlands with his helpers the “Zwarte Pieten” each year in mid-November (the first Saturday after 11 November) by steamboat from Spain. He then parades through the streets on his horse, welcomed by children cheering and singing traditional Sinterklaas songs. He stays in the Netherlands for a few weeks till his birthday on 5 december when he gives present to the children. If you want to know more about Sinterklaas, you can read this interview on Read Me Away, as she interviewed me last year about sinterklaas.
This recipe is based on Allerhand their Peppernoten recipe (dutch recipe).
- Flour – 250 gram/ 2 cups
- Dark Brown Sugar – 125 gram/ 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons
- Butter – 150 gram/ 1/2 cup and 5 tablespoons
- Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
- Milk – 4 tablespoons
- “Speculaas Kruiden”/ speculaas spices, speculoos spices or dutch spice mix in English – 12 gram/ 5 tablespoons
- Salt – a pinch
My apologies for the weird measurements as it was a dutch recipe with measurements in grams, it turns out a bit weird when converting to cups and tablespoons. This recipe makes about two baking trays filled with “Kruidnootjes”. You can make the speculaas spice mix yourself by combining the following spices: 8 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon cardemon, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and 1 teaspoon anise powder.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius/ 320 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a big bowl add the butter (make sure it’s cold/ cool, don’t melt it!), sugar, “Speculaas Kruiden”, baking powder and flour. Knead it with your hands till well combined. It will be a bit crumbly now and doesn’t stick well together.
- Now add the 4 tablespoons milk and knead the dough well. After mixing you should be able to make a big round ball of dough and it should stick together pretty well. As a test if your dough is right, tear of a small piece and try and roll it in the form of a ball on your hands. If it doens’t break apart your dough is good. If it crumbles apart, add a little bit more milk.
- Put a baking sheet on a baking tray for the oven. Pick a small amount of dough and roll it betwene your hands till a small round ball. Put it on the baking sheet and repeat till the baking tray is filled.
- Bake the “Kruidnootjes” in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and let cool down.
- You can store the “Kruidnootjes” in an airtight container for about 3-5 days max.
- Chocolate covered “Kruidnootjes”. Make the “Kruidnootjes” as specified in the recipe. After the “Kruidnootjes” have cooled down, melt some chocole, dip the “Kruidnootjes” in the chocolate and place on a plate covered with baking powder, put them in the fridge for a bit so the chocolate get’s hard and then eat them.
- Icing covered “Kruidnootjes” Make the “Kruidnootjes” as specified in the recipe. After the “Kruidnootjes” have cooled down, combine sugar and water in a small bowl till it has the right consistency. Cover the “Kruidnootjes” in the icing.