Sinterklaas and his Pieten arrived today in Holland and it made me a bit home sick. So why not bring home... a taste of home. One of the staples Sinterklaas brings from Spain every year are Pepernoten. These delicious little spiced cookies are given out by the Pieten, they actually throw them to the kids and are found in many dutch kids' little shoe. Are you totally confused now? No worries, it is an odd tradition and we haven't even started yet. I won't get into the zwarte pieten (black Petes). Feel free to read up on Pepernoten or Sinterklaas.
There are many recipes out there for pepernoten but I wanted to do something different and more healthy. I got inspired by Erin Ireland, a local food blogger here in Vancouver. She had a recipe for cookie dough made out of chickpeas and almond butter. I figured, I can recreate that and just bake it in order to make cookies. To make pepernoten I just had to shrink them down and add the famous spices that belong in pepernoten.
PEPERNOTEN SPICE (a simplified version)
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1/3 cup gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, almond butter or regular butter
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- big pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Blend all ingredients (use about half of the spice, and add more to taste) together until smooth. Roll dough in to small balls, about an inch thick. Place on a greased cookie plate and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.