I have posted traditional pepernoten on the blog before, but I thought I might do something special today: Frisian pepernoten! These pepernoten hail from my home province of Frisia (Fryslân) and what makes them different is the aniseed flavor. I LOVE aniseed as it always reminds me of home and bakeries we used to visit when I was a kid. Frisians love their aniseed!
As you might know, pepernoten are like mini cookies which are eaten coming up to and during the feast of Saint Nicholas, our version of Christmas where Saint Nicholas (who is the inspiration for Santa) hands out presents to children by traveling across roofs on a white horse and having his helper Pete travel through the chimney to place the presents in children’s shoes (sound familiar?).
If you’re looking for a fresh alternative to the usual speculaas-spice-heavy pepernoten, these Frisian ones are the perfect option. I like to dip mine in tea or chocolate milk, but they are scrumptious all on their own. Enjoy!
Frisian Pepernoten Recipe
Recipe source: What’s That Smell
75 grams light brown sugar
125 grams self-raising flour
125 grams plain flour
4 grams baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons speculaas spices
1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
1/4 teaspoon salt
150 grams honey
2 tablespoons milk
some sunflower oil to grease hands with
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or a Silpat mat.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Measure honey out in a microwaveable bowl and heat for about 25 seconds on the highest setting in the microwave. Pour honey into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix it in. Add the milk and knead by hand until everything is well incorporated. If the dough is too crumbly, add a bit more milk.
3. Grease your hands with some sunflower oil and roll little balls, about 6 grams a piece, or marble sized, out of the dough. You’ll be able to fill about 1 1/2 baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes (keep an eye on them!). They will keep for a few days in an airtight container.