Bennington's Bakkerij Krijnen Crafts Classic Dutch Pastries | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Bennington's Bakkerij Krijnen Crafts Classic Dutch Pastries


Published April 21, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.
Updated June 5, 2018 at 9:33 a.m.

Stroopwafel - BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn
  • Stroopwafel

Some say that you eat with your eyes first — but it's the deep, sweet smell of butter and browning sugar that beckons customers into Bakkerij Krijnen. In the semi-open kitchen, Hans Krijnen crafts the homemade breads and pastries he learned to make as a young baker in Holland.

Hans and Jennifer Krijnen - BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn
  • Hans and Jennifer Krijnen

"I always wanted to be a chef," recalls Hans. He got his start at 13, cleaning trays at a tiny neighborhood bakery, before going on to pastry and culinary schools and a decade of cheffing in kitchens across the Netherlands. In the late 1980s, Hans moved to Vermont to join a Dutch friend working at Bennington's Four Chimneys Inn. It was there, as head pastry chef, that he met Jennifer, the waitress who would become his wife and business partner.

Bakkerij Krijnen opened in 2005 and enjoyed immediate popularity, especially when it came to the homemade stroopwafels sandwiching salty-sweet caramel. But the 18-hour days took their toll on the couple, and they closed doors a year later — only to give it another shot, recharged, in 2009.

Location Details Bakkerij Krijnen
1001 Main St.
Bennington, VT
Baked Goods

Since then, Bakkerij Krijnen has flourished, and the owners take obvious pride in feeding their community. Local ingredients are handwritten on whiteboards. Aside from Callebaut's Belgian chocolate and Douwe Egberts Dutch coffee — nods to Hans' European roots — virtually everything in the bakery has a regional origin or is organic, fair trade and non-GMO. "I'd rather run out of pastries than use poor ingredients," says Hans.

  • Brent Harrewyn

Jennifer greets customers warmly as she fills orders for Hans' seeded sourdough loaves and long baguettes with caramelized crusts. A few patrons browse the Dutch treats behind a pastry case: chocolate crinkle cookies, almond shortbreads, raspberry-stuffed Linzertortes. Lattice pies cradle plums, peaches and cherries, and daily specialties might include strawberry Bavarian cream cake or towering lemon-meringue pie. And those famous stroopwafels? They're stacked in a corner next to a letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders, congratulating the duo on their Editor's Choice award from Yankee Magazine.

"This recognition represents the work both of you have done to make Bakkerij Krijnen one of the finest eateries in the region," he writes. "Vermont is fortunate to have members of its community who show such dedication to their work."

Bernie has a point.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

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