Nothing like the last day of the year to kick back for a moment, grab a cup of coffee and reflect on the past 365 days. The hassle of Sinterklaas and Christmas is over, only New Year's Eve is left before the old year turns to new, and we get a chance to do it all over again.

The northern provinces of Groningen and Drenthe have a unique way of celebrating this change. On the last day of the year, the Drenthenaars consume flat, crispy, sweet waffles or cookies called kniepertjes, so called because you have to "knijp" (pinch) the waffle iron shut in order to bake them. On the first day of the new year, they enjoy the same type of waffle, but now rolled up tight (rolletjes). The old year, as in the flat cookie, is now laid before them, having revealed all it had in store. The new year, just like the tightly rolled one, is yet to unfold itself and holds all kinds of mysteries and excitement. So to add some sweetness to the unexpected, they fill these rolls up with sweet whipped cream. What a great way to start a new year!

These waffles are easy to make. Use your ice cream cone maker, or stroopwafel machine or pizzelle to make these. Roll them fast, as they set and crisp up as soon as they cool. This recipe makes approximately 40 waffles.

1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour (260 gr)
1 1/4 cup of sugar (250 gr)
1 egg
1 cup of milk (240 ml)
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted and cool (115 gr)
Pinch of salt

Mix the flour and sugar together, then mix in the egg, the milk, the vanilla and the cinnamon. When all has come together and there are no lumps, stir in the melted butter and the salt. The batter should be thick but pourable. If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time. Let the batter sit for a good fifteen minutes before using it.

Heat up the waffle maker and pour a tablespoon of batter on the hot plate. Close the lid and follow instructions (usually a light will come on or off to let you know the waffle is ready). As these waffles hold more sugar than the regular recipe, keep track of how long it takes for the waffles to be ready. Bake one, let it cool and taste it. Do you want more cinnamon? Then this is a great time to add it! Bake half of the waffles flat.

For the rolled up ones: use the handle of a wooden spoon to roll the cookies on. As soon as you pull the cookie off the hot plate, lay it on the counter, place the handle on one end and roll it up. Press down the handle on the seam for a second or two until the cookie sets, then pull it off the handle. Let it cool further on a plate.

These rolled up ones are great filled with sweet whipped cream, but are just as good without. Happy New Year everyone!!

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  1. Hoi Nicole, ik zou je blog graag willen volgen via RSS, maar de RSS-link werkt niet ( Heb je hier een oplossing voor?


  2. Hi Nicole, Thank you for the recipe! The crispy cookies looked so amazing, I ordered a Pizzelle iron just to make them. Followed your recipe and appreciate your note to bake one and determine if it needs more cinnamon, etc. Delicious! Served them to my daughter and she now is asking that I make them for her birthday as a special treat. Thanks again!

  3. Hi Nicole,
    I am a private piano teacher in Alberta, Canada. My daughter is engaged to a Dutch man, and we recently visited his parents’ farm where we were treated to Dutch New Years’ Cookies.
    I thought that the idea behind the cookies was significant. The old year rolled out and open. The new year holding secrets and surprises.
    I am writing to ask if I could use the photograph below in a New Year’s message to other music teachers in my community. I would acknowledge your website in the one page article.

    Thank you for considering my request--

    Deborah , Canada

    1. Deborah, thank you for asking! You are welcome to use the photograph, and I appreciate you acknowledging the website. I love that you wish to share the significance of these Dutch cookies!

  4. Hi Nicole thanks for you this article We live in Australia and we do make knijpertjes so long as I can remember, my Vader always make them whit a long handle iron but we do have a electric one for about 40 years and still make them for Christmas to give to the people near us, have a blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy new year 2019.
    Lenie and Gerrit Zomerdijk.

  5. As a child, I used to get these as a gift from my sunday school teacher, but they were very thin, sweet and shiny. I have tried to make them but they are always more cakey than crispy and shiny as I remember. Are there different varieties of these or am I thinking of a different cookie.


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