Blog :: Ramblings of a health nut


Posted on 28 Nov 2010 by maisha (posted in: blogs)

Exactly one week from now (5 December), we celebrate Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. As kids my sister and I celebrated it a lot. We spent countless hours searching for our Sinterklaas gifts in Zimbabwe ^^ My mom went through a great deal of trouble to keep the tradition alive, no matter where in the world we were. She always made her own speculaas and kruidnoten, two types of typical Sinterklaas candy. If you want to find out more about this Dutch holiday, check the wikipedia page!

I love, love, absolutely looove kruidnoten! Especially the chocolate covered ones ^^ What I don't love is that the stores put them on sale starting from Setpember o_O I mean, c'mon, summer isn't even over yet! I always wait until mid November before getting any Sinterklaas goodies. This year I was pretty late, I only just this morning ate the first kruidnoten. It was a special breakfast: oven baked french toast with baked banana slices, topped with pumpkin butter, peanut butter, and a few kruidnoten <3

After a whopping 1.5 hours workout, I decided it was time to honor my mom and make my own kruidnoten. It was so much fun and so easy... why didn't I do this before?!

Kruidnoten (makes 20-30, depending on their size)

This recipe has been modified quite a bit compared to the original. First of, I used whole grain spelt flour, which gives a much denser/richer taste. Second, I subbed ground almond meal for some of the flour, as speculaasjes are typically decorated with almonds and I love the combination! I also added an extra pinch of ground ginger, some raw vanilla powder and drastically cut back the amount of sugar (almost half). Lastly, I used calorie light margarine (becel), wheras the recipe typically calls for butter.
Becel: water with a flavor ;-p

But definitely reduced calories and fat!


  • 3/4 cup (82 grams) whole grain spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) whole unsalted almonds, ground to a meal
  • 30 grams of palm sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tsp raw vanilla powder (pure vanilla extract will work too)
  • 6 grams speculaas kruiden
  • an extra pinch of ground ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar + 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 70 grams of margarine


  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the margarine to the dry ingredients and with your hands knead until you have a nice smooth ball of dough.
  3. Roll tiny balls from this dough, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and flatten slightly.

  4. Bake in the oven until the balls are slightly browned and hard.
  5. Let them cool down before eating... they get nice and crunchy :-) You can opt to dunk a few kruidnoten in chocolate: I put 2 squares of 85% chocolate in the microwave with 1 tsp coconut oil, heat until molten, dunk kruidnoten in it and let them cool down.

Just to convince you: these kruidnoten are to die for! Especially the chocolate ones OMG OMG OMG <3 I couldn't post any pics of them 'cause the camera battery died on me, but as soon as it's charged I'll post them... if I didn't finish them all by then ;-)

Did someone mention FOOD?!


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