Below is a picture of my brother, sister and I (I'm on the left) at the annual Sinterklaas event in our neighborhood where all of the kids in the area get to personally meet Sinterklaas and his helpers a few days before the night where we get presents from his. The look on my brother's face basically sums up how exciting this whole Sinterklaas ordeal is.
The first step is making Speculaas mix. If you have this, you can skip this step. Here is what you need:
3 3/4 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tbsp nutmeg
1 1/4 tbsp ground cloves
little less than 2 tsp anise (if you can, buy powdered because it was a pain to grind these seeds since I do not have a pestle and mortar)
little less than 2 tsp white pepper
little less than 2 tsp ground coriander
little less than 1/4 tsp ginger
Grind all ingredients - they should be powder - and mix them together. This will make about 6 tbsp. For the pepernoten, you only need 1 1/2 so save your extra!
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup PLUS 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
7 tbsp chilled butter
3 1/2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp speculaas mix
1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Beat butter until it is soft
3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, dark brown sugar, milk and speculaas mix to the butter and kneed with your hands until it is fully mixed.
4. Roll little balls (a good rule of thumb is how much dough you can pick up just between your thump and index finger) and put them on a lined baking sheet.
5. Press down lightly
6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes ( I couldn't fit all of the pepernoten on one sheet so I did a smalls second batch).