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Pepernoten – Dutch Holiday Cookies

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  • Author: Ena Scheerstra
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 50 small cookies 1x


Delicious, bite-sized spicy cookies that are eaten for Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.


  • 100 g soft butter
  • 125 g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp speculaas spices
  • pinch of salt
  • 250 gram self-raising flour
  • 24 tbsp milk


  1. Cream butter, sugar, spices and salt together.
  2. Add the self-raising flour, mix well.
  3. Add milk a tsp at a time, mixing after each bit. When a smooth dough has formed, enough milk is added.
  4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for at least one hour in the fridge.
  5. Roll small balls of the dough (diameter 1 cm), place on a lined baking tray (you need 2 for this amount of dough) about 2-3 cm apart (they will spread quite a bit).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 160C or until brown and crisp.


You can use both light and dark brown sugar. I used light, so my pepernoten are a bit lighter, with dark brown sugar they will be a bit darker.
You can use a mixer to make the dough, but I prefer to do it by hand because the risk of overmixing is much higher when using a mixer.
The pepernoten on my picture are actually about 4 times bigger than the ones you get in the shop. I like them a bit bigger because they stay soft in the middle, instead of being completely crisp. Also, it saves a lot of time because there are less balls to roll. If you want them to be my size, make balls of 2 cm diameter instead of 1 cm.

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
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