Kruidnoten are tiny, round crunchy cookies similar to gingerbread (see our kruidnoten recipe) and are flavored with a heady blend of spices, including cinnamon, mace, white pepper, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Pepernoten, on the other hand, are made with honey and ground aniseed and have a chewy texture, a subtle licorice flavor and a rustic rusk-like shape.
This recipe is from Koekje cookbook, and has been translated and published here with the permission of the publisher. While we've converted the recipe to US measurements (as closely as possible), this is a precision recipe from a famous patissier, and you'll get the best results using a digital kitchen scale and the original European measurements, which we've provided in brackets.
- 1/2 cup honey (150 g)
- 1/4 cup water (60 g)
- 1/2 cup bruine basterdsuiker, see Tips, (100 g)
- 3 1/3 cup rye flour (300 g)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 g)
- Sunflower oil, to grease
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground aniseed (12 g)
- 1 tbsp baking powder, sieved (10 g)
- You will need:
- A sugar thermometer
- A hand mixer with a dough hook attachment
- Or a stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- 9-inch spring form cake tin (22 cm)
The next day, preheat the oven to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C). Add the ground aniseed, the remaining 1 1/3 tbsp (20 g) of water and the baking powder and knead well. Rub a little of the sunflower oil into your hands and roll little balls, roughly the size of a marble. Place the balls into a round spring form cake tin. The cake tin may be densely packed, it doesn't matter if the pepernoten touch each other.
Bake the pepernoten for 20 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown. When you lightly press down on the pepernoten, they should bounce back a little. Take the tin from the oven, invert over a dish and separate the pepernoten. Allow to cool and keep in an air-tight container.
Cees Holtkamp's Tip: