Monday, November 16, 2009

Baking Bug

I've had the baking bug for the past few weeks. Any dutch treats with Speculaaskruiden sound expecially good to me right now. I've made several things, most of which were flops. It's hard to find good recipes online. Of course I have the advantage of being able to look for Dutch recipes too, but that doesn't make it much easier. My first try at "taai taai" was a total flop. It's supposed to be chewy and cakey, but instead it was crispy and hard. That went to Piggy smalls. My next experiment was speculaas. That turned out a little better, but it didn't taste quite right either. My pepernoten taste right, but were hard as rocks. All of these were baked last week. Maybe this week is a better week.

So I tried again with the pepernoten. This time, I found a recipe for kruidnoten. The dough felt a lot better than last week's recipe. The little balls were easy to make, as the dough was nice and soft.
Here's the recipe for today's Pepernoten: (about 35 cookies)
100 grams Flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
50 grams Brown Sugar
45 grams cold Butter
1 tsp Speculaaskruiden (see below)
2 Tbsp Milk

Heat the oven to 300. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Mix all the ingredients. Use 2 knifes to cut the butter into small pieces. Quickly knead into a thick dough. If the dough gets too soft, place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Roll marble sized balls from the dough, and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 2o minutes. Cool completely.
A lot of Dutch snacks associated with Sinterklaas (St Nicolas) have "speculaaskruiden" in them. These spices are widely available in Holland, but not here. Turns out, you can just make your own! All these spices should be available in your neighborhood's grocery store

Mix the following spices:
25 grams ground Cinnamon
10 grams ground Nutmeg
5 grams ground Cloves
dash ground Kardemom (I didn't have this, so left it out)

Store your spekulaas spices in an airtight jar. Some recipes that call for this include: Taai Taai, pepernoten, and spekulaas. Once I find good recipes for the taai taai and spekulaas, I'll post those too.

Enjoy your pepernoten with a glass of milk. Or, if you want to really celebrate Sinterklaas' birthday on December 5th, have Piet throw them in the door, and let the kids scramble to gather them.


Majo said...

They're looking great! Yummy !

Mom said...

Dec 5 is on a Sunday - can we do Sinderclaus (sorry on the spelling)?

SteveQ said...

I'm trying to make taai-taai for the first time. I thought they were supposed to be very hard. Doesn't the name mean "tough"?

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