Only 1 week to go till Sinterklaas is over again! Going to celebrate it with my siblings (plus their entourages) this Saturday. We set ourselves a budget of about €5 and buy as many (very crappy) presents with that. And then we play a game to decide who gets what. So buying just crap is risky, because you might end up taking it all home again. Pretty sure I have beaten my siblings (who are all very good at these kind of gifts) in buying The Best Present Ever. To give you an idea of what we buy I put a picture of what I won last year below…

Anywho, enough about my family’s attempts to litter each other’s homes with useless junk. Time for a new (dead easy) Sinterklaas recipe! Another classic biscuit/cookie you can only get around this time of year is ‘taaitaai’. If you were to translate it literally into English you’d end up with something like ‘chewychewy’. Which in all fairness doesn’t sound too appealing. As the name implies it’s a rather chewy cookie. Personally I really like it, but not everyone I know is as enthusiastic about it as me…
With the same dough you can also make pepernoten. They are not to be confused with kruidnoten. They look the same and Dutch people will almost always say “pepernoten” when they mean “kruidnoten”, but they’re not the same.

– 175g flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp speculaas spices (see here for recipe)
– 1/2 tsp ground anise seeds (couldn’t find it in the stores, so bought a mortar and pestle)
– pinch of salt
– 125g liquid honey

Step 1. If you can’t find ground anise seeds, ground them yourself (and yes, I just want to show off my new shiny mortar and pestle).

Step 2. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, speculaas spices, anise seeds and salt.

Step 3. Pour the honey on the flour mixture and knead till you have a nice ball of (rather crumbly) dough.

Wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least an hour (you can keep it in the fridge for days if you’d like).

Step 4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (with a lightly floured rolling pin) till it’s about 1cm thick. Cut nice shapes out of it. I used a cowboy hat shaped cutter a friend got me in Texas and the same mould I used for the speculaas.

Place on some baking paper on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes (I completely overbaked my cowboy hats, they were rock hard) at 190°C (175° for fan ovens). Don’t leave them exposed for too long after they’ve cooled down, they’ll become rock and rock hard.


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