Kruidnoten are tiny crunchy spiced cookies that are traditionally associated with the month of December (though, sales of these baked goods in the Netherlands usually start around October nowadays, which I don’t mind. At all.). In the Netherlands, around the end of November when children come to witness the arrival of Sinterklaas, a character not unlike Santa Claus (but way way more problematic), handfuls of kruidnoten, pepernoten and other hard candies are usually handed out to celebrate (though those who don’t celebrate , me included, still like to consume them at home). When I was little, the cookies and candies were usually thrown straight into the crowd, painfully hitting you in the head and face at times, after which kids would stuff their mouths and pockets with the little sugary treats… yeah, usually picked up off the pavement too if you were unlucky not to catch any (ew).
Rather than having to pick your treats off of the floor, you can just use this recipe to enjoy this Dutch confectionary at home. It’s a great treat to make together with and for kids or just for yourself and it really makes your house smell cosy and ready for the cold winter months.
Note: the recipe for my homemade spice blend, or ‘speculaaskruiden‘ used to make these kruidnoten can be found here
Dutch Spiced Mini Cookies / Kruidnoten
- 250g flour
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- 120g dark brown caster sugar
- 150g butter, cubed
- 1.5 - 2 tablespoons speculaaskruiden
- Pinch of salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons milk, if necessary
MethodNote: preparation time does not include the 30 minutes of leaving the dough to rest
You can find the 'recipe' for my homemade speculaaskruiden (spice blend) here.
- Combine all ingredients, except for the milk (yet). Don’t over knead the dough, but make sure all ingredients are well mixed and form a smooth-ish ball. If the ingredients are too dry, add a little bit of the milk to form a nice dough. Usually 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk should be enough.
- Cover the dough-ball with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take your dough and roll into little balls the size of a marble. Divide the little balls over the paper-covered baking sheet with a little bit of space between each. Flatten each dough ball slightly with your finger (but not too much).
- Place in the centre of the preheated oven and leave to bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remove baked kruidnoten from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet (they will get more crunchy once they've cooled).