These chewy cookies taste similar to speculaas, and are traditionally eaten for the Dutch winter holiday of Sinterklaas.
by Ena Scheerstra
The 5th of december is Sinterklaas , so it is time to bake some delicious Sinterklaas treats. The recipe I share with you is for taaitaai. It tastes very similar to speculaas, but is very chewy instead of crisp, and has anise added to it. The chewiness also explains the name, “taai” means chewy in Dutch.
These treats are only available for the holiday of Sinterklaas, and they are often baked in Sinterklaas shapes like Sinterklaas himself, his Pieten, but because of the chewy dough they are not always recognisable. When making taaitaai yourself it is easiest to cut the dough in squares or rectangles and not try to make figurines. You can also cut the dough in small squares, this makes old-fashioned pepernoten. The recipe is not difficult, but it does take some time because of the resting.
- 350 g rye flour
- 175 g flour
- 175 ml water
- 175 g honey
- 100 g treacle/molasses
- 1 tsp ground anise
- 50 ml buttermilk
- 75 g honey
- 15 g speculaas spices
- pinch of ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Mix rye flour and flour in a heat proof bowl.
- Bring the water to the boil and add the first measuring of honey, the treacle and the ground anise, bring back to the boil.
- Add the boiling mixture to the flours and mix well until a firm dough forms.
- Cover and leave to rest in a cool place for 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray.
- Add the buttermilk, second measuring of honey, speculaas spices, ginger and baking soda, mix until a smooth dough forms.
- Roll the dough to a thickness of 1 cm on a surface dusted with flour.
- Cut in squares or rectangles.
- Place on the prepared baking tray and brush with milk.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a rack.
Ena Scheerstra has a lifelong love for food and cooking, starting to collect cookbooks at age 10. She spends most of her free time on cooking and everything food related. She is a strong believer of honest food, produced sustainable and sourced locally, and cultures her own vegetables on her balcony and in her small allotment. Her blog is very internationally orientated, reflecting the variety of food she cooks, but on Honest Cooking she is focusing on showing the world the wonders of Dutch food.