Tuesday, 19 January 2016

St. Nicholas Kruidnootjes, spiced small biscuit balls

As I am Dutch I really like making traditional Dutch treats during the St. Nicholas time. These are one of them.

Origin: Dutch

Difficulty: easy
Yield: about 80 to 100 kruidnootjes
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Traditional, Vegetarian

  • kitchen machine or pastry cutter
  • baking tray
  • oven

  • 150 grams sprouted flour
  • 100 grams cold butter
  • 75 grams rapadura, sucanat, coconut sugar or maple sugar
  • 5 grams baking powder
  • 10 grams speculatius spicemix
  • milk

Things to do ahead:
  • several days ahead: sprout your grains and make the sprouted flour

  • Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or do it in the kitchen machine
  • Knead to a ball while adding little by little some milk to make it a nice and somewhat firm biscuit dough.
  • Once you have a nice ball put it in a bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for at the minimum half an hour, but overnight is just fine as well. I prefer leaving it in overnight as it is easier to work with when it has stood around for a bit.
  • Preheat your oven to 170C / 325F / Gas3.
  • Put baking paper on your baking tray.
  • Make small balls out of your dough and put those on your baking tray. If they want to roll away, push them onto the baking paper a bit, so they stick. My children love helping with this. But do make sure that the small balls have a similar size, else you may have the problem that some will be nearly black and others not done yet by the time you want to get them out of the oven. If you end up with the situation that they are all different, check regularly how they are fairing and taking out the ones that are done and leave the rest in until they are cooked. It can be done, it is just more hassle, but sometimes totally worth it when the children help out :-)
  • Make sure you put the small balls a little away from each other as they still rise a bit.
  • Baking takes anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your balls. 

Variety ideas:
  • Dip them partially or fully in some melted chocolate (chocolade kruidnootjes)
  • Dip them in melted white chocolate or any other chocolate you like and dust them with cocoa powder (truffel kruidnootjes)

Possible substitutions:
  1. butter - coconut, tallow, etc. depending on which flavour you can handle. In this case I would go for deodorised coconut oil if at all possible.
  2. sugar - honey, but then leave out the milk.
  3. sprouted flour - plain flour