Pepernoten are often eaten at the early December Sinterklaas holiday in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas is a typical Dutch tradition, though it is celebrated in other parts of Europe as well. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas' Eve (December 5th) is the chief occasion for gift-giving. A particularly distinct custom associated with pepernoten is throwing them in handfuls through the room so children can look for them. Originally this is an ancient fertility ritual (like a farmer sowing seeds). Sinterklaas´ faithful helper "Black Peter" distributes the pepernoten to the children by throwing them through the door before the arrival of Sinterklaas.
Pastry – serves: 6 – preparation time 20 minutes – cooking time 20 minutes
Preheat the (hot air) oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
Sieve the flour into a bowl. Mix the baking powder, aniseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt through the flour.
Make a dip/hole in the flour and pour in the syrup.
Stir the syrup from outside to inside into the flour.
Knead the dough until it becomes a ball. Grease two baking sheets.
Form about 20 marble-sized balls.
Place them on the two sheets, so that they are the same distance from each other.
Flatten each ball slightly.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven or until golden brown.