Honest Cooking: Taaitaai

The post about this sinterklaas cookie is a little late (Sinterklaas was last week) because Honest Cooking took 3 weeks before publishing it… so see it as a very early post for next year! Also, these cookies are very delicious, so you can also eat them when its not Sinterklaas.


These chewy cookies taste similar to speculaas, and are traditionally eaten for the Dutch winter holiday of Sinterklaas.

The 5th of december is Sinterklaas , so it is time to bake some delicious Sinterklaas treats. The recipe I share with you is for taaitaai. It tastes very similar to speculaas, but is very chewy instead of crisp, and has anise added to it. The chewiness also explains the name, “taai” means chewy in Dutch.

These treats are only available for the holiday of Sinterklaas, and they are often baked in Sinterklaas shapes like Sinterklaas himself, his Pieten, but because of the chewy dough they are not always recognisable. When making taaitaai yourself it is easiest to cut the dough in squares or rectangles and not try to make figurines. You can also cut the dough in small squares, this makes old-fashioned pepernoten. The recipe is not difficult, but it does take some time because of the resting.

Taaitaai – Dutch Holiday Cookies

350 g rye flour
175 g flour
175 ml water
175 g honey
100 g treacle/molasses
1 tsp ground anise
50 ml buttermilk
75 g honey
15 g speculaas spices
pinch of ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda

Mix rye flour and flour in a heat proof bowl.
Bring the water to the boil and add the first measuring of honey, the treacle and the ground anise, bring back to the boil.
Add the boiling mixture to the flours and mix well until a firm dough forms.
Cover and leave to rest in a cool place for 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray.
Add the buttermilk, second measuring of honey, speculaas spices, ginger and baking soda, mix until a smooth dough forms.
Roll the dough to a thickness of 1 cm on a surface dusted with flour.
Cut in squares or rectangles.
Place on the prepared baking tray and brush with milk.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Leave to cool on a rack.

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