Flavours of WUR: Pepernoten

Saint Nicholas shares his recipe for the spicy bite-sized cookies called pepernoten.
Photo: Saint Nicholas (ancient), parcel deliverer

All the flavours of the world can be found in the WUR community. Saint Nicholas shares his recipe for the spicy bite-sized cookies called pepernoten.

‘I’ve been living in Spain for centuries now but around this time of year I always come to the Netherlands for a couple of weeks to distribute presents and treat everyone to sweet stuff. I can’t really remember how this all started, but it’s definitely a tradition now. These pepernoten have been firm favourites with both children and adults for generations.

Serving tip: Put some pepernoten in your housemates’ shoes!’


  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons speculaas spice
  • 125g butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Mix all the ingredients except the milk thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Add the milk and kneed the mixture into a pliable dough. Too dry? Add a few more drops of milk. Don’t kneed it for too long: if the butter gets too soft, it affects the structure of the pepernoten.
  3. Once the dough is pliable, make a ball of it. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180 °C.
  5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Make little balls with the dough, place them on the tray and flatten them slightly.
  6. Put the baking tray in the oven and have a look after 15 minutes. If the pepernoten are still very soft, give them five minutes longer. Let them cool down and enjoy!

Which dish reminds you of home? Share it with Resource so we can all enjoy it! Mail to: resource@wur.nl.

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