"Het heerlijk avondje is gekomen" - the delicious evening has arrived - is a sentence that ties directly back to the evening of the 5th of December, the evening where Sinterklaas, Saint Nicholas, bestows upon the Dutch children carefully selected gifts, as a celebratory culmination of the past year's good behavior, songs sung with dedication in front of the open hearth (or central heating, it matters not) and treats left out for the Pieten and for Sint Nicolaas's horse. 

The deliciousness of the evening initially refers to the sweet joy of receiving gifts, and the anxious expectation that one may not indeed receive the "koek", but the "gard". If you were good, you get "koek", if you were bad, well....the "gard" which is another word for "roe", which is a bundle of twigs meant to sweep the chimney with. Nobody wants any of that, I can assure you!

But the deliciousness has also become an evening of sweets and candies, cookies and cake, and many other delectable things. The Pieten throw hands full of kruidnoten and hard candy, we get chocolate letters and probably eat a slice or two too many of the banketstaaf

These kruidnoten are delicious, crunchy little spiced cookies that you will find in abundance these times of the year. We love to snack on them by the handful (fortunately, they're easy and quick to make!) but also love them in more elaborate desserts. So if you're invited to a potluck, need to whip up something traditional Dutch during the holidays, or just want to do something special for yourself or someone you know, give this kruidnotenbavarois a try! Bavarois is a light and airy dairy treat. If you're not much one for dairy treats, you may want to try the no bake Kruidnoten Arretje's cake instead.


2 Tbsp water

1 envelope Knox gelatin (or 3 leaves)

3 cups heavy whipping cream (720 ml)

1/4 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp regular sugar (85 grms)

2 heaping teaspoons powdered sugar

2 heaping cups kruidnoten (approximately 50)

Put the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it (in case you use leaves, submerge them in bowl with cold water). 

Put two cups of heavy cream into a sauce pan, add the regular sugar and warm it up, just below simmering, while stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. When the gelatin has bloomed, add it to the cream (or squeeze out the water from the gelatin sheets and dissolve the sheets in the cream), and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Pull from the stove and let cool to room temperature. 

Whip the remaining cream to big, stiff peaks with the powdered sugar, in a big bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. Rinse out the form you will use, or individual glasses or bowls if you are not planning on inverting it, and place them in the fridge.

While you wait for the cream/gelatin mix to cool down, chop the kruidnoten with a knife into big

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the room temperatue cream/gelatin mix until well distributed, and then fold in the kruidnoten. Remove the mold or the glasses from the fridge, and carefully pour in the contents of your bowl. Cover with cling film, and stick back in the fridge. Will need a good six hours to set up, better overnight. 

If you want to pour out the bavarois, quickly dip the bottom of the mold in hot water, and invert the bavarois onto a plate. Put back in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Decorate with additional kruidnoten or Sinterklaas related treats.

If you use glasses, consider finishing the dessert with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chopped kruidnoten

Makes about six to eight servings.

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