Nov 5, 2009

Dutch Kruidnootjes

Now these are kruidnoten. Don’t ask me to literally translate that because, well, for the life of me I couldn’t. It would sound kinda strange. Kruidnootjes are tiny (gingerbread) cookies that are thrown around so our kids can eat them off the floor. Most of them scooping the lot in their tiny mouths with both hands. I so wish I could see the gaze of pure horror and shock in your eyes now.

It’s actually semi-true. Let me explain: kruidnoten are a big part of ‘Sinterklaas‘, a Dutch children’s holiday celebrated on Dec 5th. To the best of my knowledge Santa, Father Christmas or Kris Kringle—whatever you want to name the guy—is derived from this St. Nicholas. Anyway, these tiny cookies are inextricably connected to Sinterklaas. They’re thrown around by his helpers, zwarte pieten (Black Pete’s), along with other small candy. It’s called strooigoed, which translates to “throw-around goodies“.

They’re addictive. Highly addictive. And because they’re small, crunchy and delicious you’ll be tempted to eat way more than you should. There’s just no stopping until you’ve emptied the bag. Or bowl. Especially not when they’re dipped in chocolate.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 tbsp speculaas spice
1/2 a tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 oz soft butter
4 tbsp milk

Optional: chocolate

 

Directions:

As soon as I grabbed my camera, the kid was jumping up and down behind me yelling: “Can I help, mom? Can I? Please?”. Now you have to be smart about these things, if you’re too eager they’ll figure you out. So I played the game well and as a result I ended up with a great, yet slightly messy help in the kitchen. He’s a good kid. Maybe I’ll let him eat the cookies from a bowl this time. But only this time!

Sieve 2 cups self-rising flour over a big bowl.

 

Add 2/3 cup brown sugar to the flour.

 

And in with the speculaas spice and salt.

 

Combine the ingredients.

 

Add 4 oz soft butter and 4 tbsp milk.

 

Start kneading. If the dough is too dry, add more milk until you have a supple dough.

 

If you’re lucky you won’t have to deal with this.

 

I could have rapped his knuckles, but I figured it was probably easier friendlier to just keep those tiny hands as busy as possible.

 

We rolled the dough into tiny balls and flattened them just a little. Mine were bigger than official kruidnoten are. Usually they’re 5 gr per piece or so, I made mine 10gr each. Strictly for chocolate dipping purposes.

 

Bake them in a preheated oven at 320F (160C) for 15 to 20 minutes.

 

You can eat them like this and they’ll be great, but ‘like this’ just isn’t good enough for us. We dip them in chocolate and that raises them to an even higher level. You can dip them in any kind of (melted) chocolate you like. We nuked some white chocolate and added food coloring, just for the heck of it.

 

You’ll be needing lots of ice cold milk with this. Oh, and you’ll need to renew your gym membership. Just so you know…

 

Traditionally kruidnootjes are served with hot cocoa. Try my Winter Wonderland version some time! It’s heavenly.

 

Kay’s Recipe Note:


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