Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spice Balls (Dutch Pepernoten)

This cookie ball is eaten all over the Netherlands from November through December. Santa's elves throw them to kids in their parade, they are stocked in every grocery store aisle, bowls appear in every office. You just can't get enough. They are a small, dry cookie that crunches in your mouth. This is by far the best and simplest recipe I know for a great winter treat.

Kids of all ages love to roll them into balls. I try not to coach the rolling too much, and just adjust later so that there are tiny ones and huge ones on the same tray. Feel free to add as much of the spices as your palate prefers. Watch out for too much clove or cardamon as too much will taste soapy.


500grams flour ( As always, I use spelt. A mix of whole and white)
1 tsp (coffee spoon) cloves (girofle)
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
Optional-pinch of anise powder, 1/2 tsp cardamon, 1-2 tsp cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp seasalt

200 ml maple syrup
150 ml vegetable or corn oil

Mix all dry ingredients into a big bowl.
Place wet ingredients into a tall cup or bowl and mix with a staf mixer (Braun) until emulsified.
Add wet to dry. Mix.
It can be a very dry batter. It is often easiest, and more fun, the mix it with your hands. If you wet your hands first it won't stick to them so easily.
Push the batter into a ball like shape in the middle of the bowl. Cover well with
plastic wrap. Refridgerate for 1 hour or overnight.
Take out and make into hazelnut size balls. This is the size that can get nice and crunchy. But when kids (or I!) are making them, they end up more the size of walnuts. Its OK, just try and arrange similar size balls on the same cooking tray.

EAT and distribute liberally among your friends!

1 comment:

  1. That is fantastic, Jenn, even at ages 19 and 22 my boys still love Pepernoten and I lost the recipe!