Tuesday, February 15, 2011
This weekend I had planned on making a slagroomtaart, a light cake with whipped cream and fruit. It's a delightful cake, traditionally served at birthday parties or other festive occassions. But I received a booklet in the mail this week, Drentse Pot, about typical foods from the province of Drente, and while browsing through it, I came across a recipe for zakdoeken. Zakdoeken (handkerchiefs) or buusdoukies in the Drents dialect are, in this case, not of the cloth kind, mind you, but a lovely, crunchy yet light waffle. The slagroomtaart went out the window ofcourse, because how can you resist a cookie with such an interesting name? I have never spent much time in Drente, so I was eager to try it out. And I am sure glad I did!
This cookie is sweet, crunchy, crisp and light, and shows beautifully. You will need a waffle cone maker style of waffle iron, like you use for stroopwafels. Watch out when folding the warm waffle, it will be hot!
1 1/2 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of water
2 cups of flour
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of vanilla essence
Pour the measured amount of batter on the hot waffle iron, close and bake. When the waffle is done, open the lid and quickly fold the cookie in half, and then again in half, as if you were folding a handkerchief. Place it on a cooling rack, where it will crisp up into a nice, sweet, crunchy cookie.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
My own theory is that, from all the Dutch cookies, this is the most extravagant one, and with our Calvinistic upbringing, the excitement of biting into a roze koek is like rebelling, it's almost akin to sin. There, that rhymes. The cake itself is buttery, sweet and tender: the pink icing mixed with berry juice adds a slight tang and creaminess to the whole. Definitely worth a try!
Cream the butter with the sugar. Add one egg at a time and beat until it's been fully absorbed by the mixture before adding the next one. Finally, fold the lemon zest and the flour through the mix until you have a pourable thick batter or scoopable dough.
Mix the powdered sugar with the berry juice and stir well. You may want to add a drop of red food coloring if you are looking for that hot pink. Stir it well, add some milk if it gets too thick, and then ice the cakes with the hot pink sugary coating. Let the icing dry, then serve with coffee or tea. Feel terribly sinful for a couple of bites and then have another cake!
Thank you Lien for the great recipe, and thank you Ferdinand for the beautiful mugs!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
But back to the cookie. Gevulde koek, or filled cookie, is a crumbly, buttery, tender dough with an almond filling. The almond decorating the cookie is a dead giveaway. First you taste the cookie, then a sweet, slightly moist almond filling hits you and it's just heaven. Together with a hot cup of coffee (try Douwe Egberts sometime, a Dutch coffee brand and a national favorite), it is a combination that soothes travel irritations, whether you're going anywhere or not.
For the dough:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 scant teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of cold water
1 3/4 stick of butter
For the filling:
1 cup of almond paste*
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg white
2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of almond essence
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of milk
8 sliced or whole almonds
Mix the dry ingredients and cut the butter into the dough, until it has the consistency of wet sand. Add a tablespoon of icecold water and knead the dough into a cohesive whole, making sure all the butter is well mixed in. Pat into an oval, cover with plastic film and refrigerate while you make the paste.
Set your oven to 350F and turn it on. Take the dough out of the fridge, cut it in half and roll one half out, to about 1/8 of an inch and cut out eight rounds. I use the canning ring for a wide mouth jar, it's approximately eight inches across. Roll the other half out and cut another eight rounds (or more ofcourse!). Place one huge heaping teaspoon of almond paste mix in the middle of one cookie, place a second round on top and carefully seal the edges. You can do this with a fork or gently tapping it with your finger.
When all are done, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet or on a silicone mat. Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush the top of the cookies, then place an almond on top. Bake for about thirty minutes or until golden.
Let them cool a little bit and enjoy this typical Dutch treat!
*If you don't have access to canned almond paste, you can easily make your own by processing two cups of slivered raw almonds, adding 1/4 cup of sugar and three tablespoons of water to make it into a thick paste.