Pepernoten (Dutch Peppernuts)

"In Holland St. Nicholas visits the children on December 5 accompanied by his faithful helper "Black Peter." He, or a black gloved hand, distributes the peppernoten to the children by throwing them through the door before the arrival of St. Nicholas." ~ Cooking With the Saints

Pepernoten (Dutch Peppernuts)


2½ cups (300 g) flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (75 g) brown sugar
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon anise seeds (optional)


Knead all ingredients into a soft ball. 

Note: I could not get my dough to form a soft ball until after I added a couple extra tablespoons of water. 

Butter two baking sheets. Form about 50 marble-sized balls.  Place them on the two sheets, so that they are the same distance from each other. Flatten each ball slightly.

Bake at 350º F. (175º C) 20 minutes or until done. The cookies will be very hard, but they will get softer as they get older.

Makes about 50 peppernuts.

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