Dutch Holiday Cookies: Kruidnoten, Pepernoten, Koopman and Atlanta Oliebollen Mixes, Speculaas Dols, Taai Taai and TWO Recipes!

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 Kruidnoten is a cookie-like confectionary though definitely not a cookie, traditionally associated with the early December Sinterklaas holiday in the Netherlands.

The term kruidnoten is often confused with pepernoten. Kruidnoten, which translates to "spice nuts" in English, are harder, have a different color and shape, and are made with the same ingredients as speculaas.
Another variety of kruidnoten, called chocolate-kruidnoten, are covered in either dark, milk, or white chocolate.
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The spice mix usually includes a mixture of aniseed, cinnamon, white pepper, and ginger, combined with butter, flour, and sugar.  Sometimes anise is also added.
Bolletje Friese Pepernoten

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Kruidnoten Recipe (from the official Holland site)
125 grams (4.4 oz) self-rising flour
125 grams (4.4 oz) brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of ground aniseed
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of white pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ginger
30 (1 oz) grams of butter

Knead everything together into a stiff dough. You may have to add a tablespoon or two of milk if it's too stiff. Wrap and rest the dough in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for a couple of hours to let the flavors blend.
Roll small pieces of dough into little balls and place them on parchment paper or a silicone mat on a baking sheet and slightly press them down.
Bake them at 200C (400F) in about 15 minutes until nicely browned. Let them cool on a rack.

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Recipe Taai Taai

Tools: cookie cutters or taai taai mold; pastry brush

190    grams light brown sugar
130    grams liquid honey
100    grams water
230    grams pastry flour (T45 or Zeeuwse bloem)
200    grams white rye flour (roggebloem)
4       grams salt
15     grams ground aniseed
10     grams baking powder
1       egg, beaten
rice flour (optional)

1. Bring 170 grams of the sugar, the honey and 80 grams of the water to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the pastry flour, rye flour, and salt. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for one day.

2. Preheat the oven to 210C/410F. 

3. Knead the rest of the sugar, ground aniseed, baking powder and the rest of the water through the dough. You can try and use a stand mixer (like a Kitchenaid), but the dough is quite tough so be sure to stay with the mixer as there is a chance it will overheat. I kneaded by hand for a bit first and then transferred to the mixer.

4. If using a mold: dust with rice flour, push dough into the mold. Use a knife to cut off excess dough and coax the dough out of the mold.
    If using cookie cutters: roll out dough to 1 cm thickness on a lightly floured working surface. Cut out figures with cookie cutters.

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5. Place figures on a greased baking tray. Brush with beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


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