Here in Holland, most people celebrate Christmas, just like many other countries. However, we also have something similarish at the start of december: Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas does not only bring gifts, it also brings the traditional Pepernoten, which are soooo good.

During the holiday, Sinterklaas arrives in the country on his boat with many of his helpers (kinda like Santa and his elves). He visits many places around this time and his helpers distribute lots of candy and pepernoten. Kids love it (and are sometimes a bit scared), because candy and excitement!

During this holiday, kids put their shoe down and sing besides it before going to bed. They sometimes leave a carrot out for the white stallion of Sinterklaas. The next morning when they wake up, there’s candy or a small present in their shoe from Sinterklaas and his helpers (kinda like the stockings thing for Christmas!). The day before Sinterklaas leaves the country again, it gets celebrated and there are many gifts.

Pepernoten are the traditional sweets of this holiday. Ofcourse, this means they are being sold in stores all over the country. This starts about two/three months before the actual holiday. They get covered with many things like chocolate (white/brown/dark), yoghurtish flavour, truffle flavour, strawberry, etc. etc. (there’s more flavours every year!).

pepernoten2Seeing as I’ve been a bit bored during my sick days, I figured I should do some baking. I looked up some recipes and during the last couple of days, I’ve tried out a few things. I made muffins (I’ll post that recipe some other time) and an appricot cake (which totally failed). I also researched pepernoten recipes.I haven’t gone for the most healthy recipe I could find. Actually, I made my own by combining some and replacing some ingredients. I figured at the very least I could substitute regular sugar and butter. Partially because I don’t use regular sugar and also, because I simply do not have it in my house. The same goes for butter most of the time. So substituting these meant not leaving the house, yay!

I still had some apple syrup lying around that I wanted to get rid of, so I used it in the recipe. If you don’t have that, just substitute honey. The recipe will yield two oven batches.

– 100g Coconut oil
– 50g Honey
– 50g Apple syrup
– 250g Self-rising flour
– 3 Tbsp cookie spices
– 2 Tbsp milk
– Pinch of salt

  1. Heat up the coconut oil, so it’s completely molten. Let this cool for a little bit.
  2. Mix all the ingredients.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
  5. Roll the dough into small balls  and spread them around on the baking tray. Push them down a bit, so they’re a little flattened.
  6. Heat them in the oven for about 18 minutes (Check once in a while, because this might differ a bit, depending on the oven).
  7. Lay them out to cool off for a bit, before eating.



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