Review: Hema Pepernoten

Review: Hema Pepernoten

Sinterklaas Hema Kruidnoten

Hema Kruidnoten Review

Every year in the beginning of December the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas, who was used as inspiration for the more well-known Santa Claus. And for clarification, Sinterklaas is both the name of the person as the name of the holiday. 

Even though the holiday is mostly catered towards kids, we do have a couple of traditional Sinterklaas treats that can be enjoyed by anyone. Pepernoten – or technically speaking kruidnoten, but that’s opening a whole nother can of worms – are small cinnamon-spiced cookies, and are widely available in supermarkets and bakeries from up to months before Sinterklaas.

Dutch store Hema gave a new twist to the classic kruidnoten and came up with a couple of new flavors, based on other typical Dutch snacks. They coated the original kruidnoten with a layer of white chocolate, and infused them with spices. And I have to say, the results were mostly successful!

Hema Kruidnoten typical Dutch flavors

Hema Tompouce Kruidnoten

One of Hema’s specialties from their bakery is the tompouce. So of course they had to create tompouce-flavored pepernoten! And don’t worry, if you have no clue what a tompouce is supposed to be, you can read more about it in my 8 foods you have to try when visiting the Netherlands blog.

Out of the three available flavors, this one was our absolute favorite. They look great, and the sweet, creamy coating pairs really well with the classic cinnamon flavored kruidnoot on the inside. Strangely enough, the taste is actually – subtly – reminiscent of tompouce, and the combination works! All in all, well balanced flavors that are not too sweet. Definitely give this one a try if you get the chance!

Hema Kruidnoten Tompouce flavor

Hema Stroopwafel Kruidnoten

Of course Hema couldn’t miss out on using one of our most famous Dutch snacks: the stroopwafel. This pairing actually makes a lot of sense if you look at the basic ingredients of the both of them since they both contain cinnamon.

And knowing that, it nicely sums up how I feel about this flavor.  While I have to say that the stroopwafel flavor does work, it isn’t necessarily an exciting or surprising flavor. It doesn’t add a whole new flavor profile and it doesn’t distract from the original flavors either. They’re pretty good, but – in all honesty – pale in comparison to an actual stroopwafel.
I’d say, try them out at least once for yourself, but stick with the tompouce flavored ones when you restock your kruidnoten supply.

Hema Kruidnoten Stroopwafel flavor

Hema Disco Dip Kruidnoten

Disco dip on soft serve ice cream is a Dutch childhood classic that hits you right in the nostalgia. So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that they used this as one of the flavors for their kruidnoten!

First of all, they look really fun and festive covered in the disco dip. But, they actually taste pretty good too. Since the disco dip itself doesn’t really have a taste, they added some vanilla to the chocolate surrounding the kruidnoot. And in doing that, for me, the whole vanilla soft serve ice cream experience came around full circle!
It is a safe flavor, but I think it is one that many people will appreciate. A small side note however, you do have to be okay with the additional crunch that the disco dip adds. Anyway, this one is definitely at least worth a try!

Hema Kruidnoten Disco Dip flavor

Should you try the new Hema kruidnoten flavors?

If you like sweet bite-sized snacks, or cinnamon flavored things be sure to give them a try! While I do suggest also trying out the original non-coated kruidnoten first, the flavored ones are a nice variation to try afterwards.
Personally, I felt like the outer chocolate layer made them come across a bit less dry compared to the original. If you would wanna enjoy them on the go, or just by themselves, I feel like the flavored ones are better pick. Especially if you’re used to more chewy cookies, I can see people wanting to pair the original kruidnoten with for example a cup of coffee or tea.

Do give them a try yourself if you come across a Hema store! Every year the kruidnoten seem to be in store earlier and earlier, but they should be available from somewhere around August or September, up until mid December. And if you really want to do it the Dutch way, wait until after the 5th of December to get them on sale!

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