The Dutch celebration of Saint Nicholas is one anticipated eagerly by all kids. It is filled with sweets, chocolate letters and presents. It starts when Saint Nicholas arrives in the Netherlands (by boat, from Spain) around the middle of November and ends with a night filled with presents on December 5th.
In between, children place their shoe next to the fireplace overnight – along with some water and a carrot for the horse of Saint Nicholas – only to find them filled with small presents and sweets in the morning.
Supermarkets tend to be very tempting places around this time of the year. One of the most used sweets during this period are these very small spiced cookies. They are used to fill shoes, handed out to and thrown into crowds of children. And I adore them still, especially with a cup of tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Indulging feels better with these home made, healthier alternative bites.
Makes about 50 small cookies
1 packet baking powder
1 tbsp speculoos spice (alternative, use a combination of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg)
125 gram spelt flour
60 gram butter
2 tbsp raw cane sugar
1 tbsp rice milk
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Melt the better and pour into a large bowl.
3. Mix in the flour, spices and baking powder and stir until a cohesive mixture is formed.
4. Add the sugar and rice milk and process to a soft dough.
5. Roll small, even balls (about 5 gram each).
6. Press the balls evenly spread on a lined baking tray, spaced slighly apart.
7. Bake for 25 minutes in the middle of the oven.
8. Leave to cool completely and store in an airtight container.