Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dutch Letters and Cookies

Since my family is Dutch I couldn't resist these recipes:

(You can make these in any shape you want. I prefer S's like the bakery at home does.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled
1/3 cup ice water
8 ounces almond paste
1 egg
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

1 In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt.
Cut in chilled butter until the texture of the mix is mealy with pea sized lumps.
2 Add ice water gradually while stirring with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball.
Cover your dough and chill for 1/2 hour.

To make filling, in a small bowl, mix together the almond paste and sugar. Add the egg and mix well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C ).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness, making as square as possible. Cut the dough into strips 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide (about the width of a ruler). Using a pastry bag or a strong plastic bag with a small hole cut from the corner, pipe almond filling down the center of the strip starting halfway down. Fold the top half of the strip down over the almond filling to match the bottom. 6 Shape strips into desired letters, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. If you are using all butter in your recipe, check after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Before baking press an almond in the middle of the cookie, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Real Dutch Letter filling
1 lb. sweet almonds,
2 C. sugar,
3 eggs
grated rind of one lemon
Grind almonds finely, add sugar and lemon, beaten eggs and enough water to make a firm mixture. Roll pastry quite thin into a long strip. Place almond filling on pastry and roll like jelly roll. Do not make roll thicker than two inches. Cut and form into letters desired.Bake until light brown. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.


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