08 December 2016

Sinterklaas Provisions

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

In the Netherlands in ancient times, parents of newborns would place one or two carrots underneath the infant's pillow, a treat for Sinterklaas's horse, Amerigo. They believed Sinterklaas would then come on December the 5th and bless the child by showering the infant with "pepernoten".

God Jul.

Pepernoten (Pfeffernuesse in Germany, Peppern√łtter in Denmark)

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick, brought to room temperature)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 teaspoon ginger, ground

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with a silpat.

Cream together sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, milk, and butter.  Incorporate the salt and baking powder

Start adding the flour to the creamed butter little by little, until it's formed a grainy, buttery dough.  You may not need the entire cup.  If dough is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of water.

Scoop out 1/2 teaspoon sized scoops of dough and roll into a ball in your hands.  Place on the lined baking sheet, leaving room between scoops for the cookies to spread.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden and cracked across the surface.  These should be fairly hard when cooled - "peppernuts", as the name translates.

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