Dutch Pepernoten

"Taken from a little community cookbook "Cooking on Clogs" that has some great family recipes compiled by Dutch ladies especially for when they pined for typical Dutch recipes and treats that were not available to them shop-bought when they emmigrated to other countries. These should be little tiny balls... about the size of the top joint of your little finger.. and when cooled you mix them with sweets (candy) that is hard and very sugary and THIS mix is what Sint Nicolas's helpers Zwarte Piet(s) throw at children when they make their "surprise" visit to families with the Big Red Book on the 5th of December. NOTE: If you have access to commercially mixed Speculaas kruiden (spices) then you could use 2 3/4 teaspoons of that instead of the individual spices listed. ZWT REGION: The Netherlands."
photo by Dutch-British-Jude photo by Dutch-British-Jude
photo by Dutch-British-Jude
photo by Dutch-British-Jude photo by Dutch-British-Jude
photo by Camstone photo by Camstone
photo by AaliyahsAaronsMum photo by AaliyahsAaronsMum
Ready In:
50 pepernoten




  • Cream the butter and sugar, then add spice mix (or spices).
  • Add the flour and milk and make very very small marble sized balls.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 160 C (320 F) until golden.

Questions & Replies

  1. Hello everyone! So glad to have found this recipe. One question are they the soft or hard kind? thank you in advance. Dank je wel!


  1. These are good, authentic, and much quicker than my German version which must be rolled/chilled/cut. I too had to nearly triple the milk to get enough cling to form balls though. If you make your own self rising flour as I had to, using an Internet recipe (1 c flour, 1 1/2 t baking powder and 1/2 t salt), that plus salted butter just made them a tad too salty. I'm going to do a second batch after Sinter Klaas and go with 1/4t on the salt. Overall very worth it though as these are just as good as the ones I buy at the Dutch store. Better actually.
  2. to Andypandy: the texture should be hard, like little rocks. Dutch translation: peppernuts. This recipe is excellent. Very spicy, so it burns the tongue a little. I think they taste better than the ones we purchased from The Netherlands. I used my coffee grinder to grind anise seed, and it worked well. I also added a teaspoon of chinese five spice powder. Addictive!
  3. the spices are perfect in this recipe as is. I baked them in tiny balls 12 minutes came out hard bottoms and chewy top, a little longer baked came out hard rocks, so they must be tea dunkers. I wish I knew what the finished texture should be chewy or rock hard. Did give them a five star as easy and simple, and taste is great.
  4. These are absolutely wonderful! DH took half the batch for his class and dept and it was enjoyed by all! The only thing was the mixture was a bit dry for me with just 1 tbsp of milk and so I'd to add a little extra. And I think I shaped the balls a bit too small since I got over 100 cookies but that meant more to share! So the only tedious bit for me was shaping. Thank you, Kiwidutch, for sharing this wonderful recipe, definitely will be making it again!
  5. Does anyone know where I can get the cookbook "cooking with clogs " ?


  1. I have made these several times. It pays to make them as uniform in size as possible as they will bake more evenly. I have been told that they should not be baked until they are hard. The bottoms should be hard but the tops only chewy. They will become rock hard in any case after a couple of days. I substitute kirsch for the milk. A Dutch co-worker says that they should be made with a coarse flour so that they come out grainy.



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