When I got married this past May, I was excited to learn as much as I could about my husband's family's background. I'd be lying if I said I didn't make a few jokes along the way about my potential future children wearing wooden shoes, loving tulips and cheese or learning to be windmill engineers. In all honesty, though, I've enjoyed learning what I know so far about the Dutch.
For Christmas, my husband received a print-out of his immediate patriarchal line, complete with Dutch names and birthplaces. While we were discussing it, my husband brought up having tried Banket as a little boy. He could only describe it to me as "an almondy Dutch pastry." Now, being a fan of any sort of pastry, I knew I'd have to do more research on it (recipe found here) and, skills willing, try it for myself. I decided to make this as a Valentine's Day gift to dear hubby as an ode to my new family dynamic: Dutchness. I threw my hair up in a braid (though French, it was my best attempt) and tried to channel the Dutch housewife ghosts of yester-year.
- 2 C all-purpose flour + more for dusting surfaces
- 1 C cold butter
- 1/2 C cold water
- 1 1/2 C almond paste
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 C white sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 egg white, beaten
- In a large bowl, cut cold butter into flour until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Make a well in the center, add cold water. Mix together until the mixture forms a ball. Do not over-mix. Chill the dough overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425. Grease a cookie sheet.
- In a medium bowl, blend together almond paste, eggs, sugar, almond extract and salt. Heavily flour your work surface, hands and rolling pin. Trust me.
- Divide dough into four parts. Keep the dough you're not using in the fridge.
- Roll out one part into a 15"x6" strip. Place filling along the center of the strip. Roll up, pinching the ends to seal. Use water to soften the dough and adhere better. Place on cookie sheet and repeat with the other three parts. (Thank goodness they got progressively more attractive.)
- Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Or a little crispy. :)