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Dutch Pastries
By Goodmama, California

Almond Paste 

Preparation Time:  Approximately 30 minutes.

Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
----------- ------------        ---------------------------------------------
  
1             lb                almonds
   1             lb                sugar
   1/3         cup              water
   1/4      teaspoon       fresh lemon juice
   2         teaspoons     grated lemon zest

 Boil water in a sauce pan. Lower several almonds into the water with a spoon (so as not to splash yourself).

When the skins look loose, remove the almonds from the water and insert some more. When each batch of almonds has cooled off enough to handle, remove the skins. Continue until all almonds are blanched and skinned.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until almonds look like they have been ground.

Let this mixture stand 2 - 3 days before using.

NOTES : This recipe makes enough almond paste for one batch of Bankeet OR one batch of Spekulaas. If you are planning on making both pastries, simply double or triple  the recipe as needed.

 

 Bankeet

Servings: 72   Preparation Time: 4 hours

Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
----------- -------------       --------------------------------
  2 1/2      cups              flour
  12          oz.                 cold butter
  2/3         cup                water
  1            recipe           almond paste
  1            egg                yolk

Put flour in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter, not handling with your hands (you want to keep the butter cold). When the butter is cut into the flour, add the water and mix with a wooden spoon. Knead into a ball.

Roll out dough on a floured board until it's approximately 12 X 16 inches. Fold in thirds and roll again. Fold one more time and roll again. Let dough rest in refrigerator 1/2 hour.  REPEAT: roll to 12 X 16, fold in thirds, roll, fold, roll, fold... refrigerate 1/2 hour. ONE MORE TIME: roll, fold, roll, fold, roll, fold. refrigerate 1/2 hour.

You are going to make 6 long rolls (which will each be cut in half after baking to make 12  rolls). Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.  Roll out one portion of dough until it is about 12 - 13  inches long and approx. 5 inches wide (this is where I start guessing, because I eyeball it!).  With your hands, make an almond paste snake about 1 " in diameter (again, guessing here!) and lay it down the center of your dough lengthwise, stopping just short of the top and bottom of the dough. Now roll the dough around the paste (like you're making an egg roll) and overlap the dough. Place the log seam side down on a cookie sheet and SEAL THE ENDS by stretching and pinching the dough at the ends. Okay, you've just made one log and you have 5 to go.

      Repeat all of those steps until you're sorry you ever tackled this quest.

Make an egg wash with the yolk and about 1 teaspoon or so of water. Brush egg wash over Bankeet logs.

Bake in 350 degree oven 40 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing! When cool, slice each log in half to make 6 logs. Slice off the sealed ends and force yourself, the hubby  and the kidlings to eat them.

When ready to serve, slice as many logs as you need into pieces approximately 1 " long. You should get approximately 6 pieces to a log, for a total of 72 pieces.

 

Spekulaas

 

Servings: 40   Preparation Time: 2:00

Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
----------   ------------       --------------------------------
   1            cup              sugar
   1            cup              dark brown sugar
   1            cup              butter
   2            large           eggs
   3            cups            flour
  1/2          teaspoon   baking powder
  1/2          teaspoon   baking soda
   1            teaspoon   cinnamon
  1/2          teaspoon   ground cloves
  1/2          teaspoon   nutmeg
  1/2          teaspoon   salt
  1/4          teaspoon   ginger powder
    1           egg             yolk

Cream sugars and butter (please only use real butter). Add eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping the bowl well in between each one. Add remaining ingredients (except for egg yolk!) and mix well. Let stand about 1/2 hour or so to become a little stiffer.

Separate dough into two portions.

Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Roll one portion of the dough right into the cookie sheet until it covers the entire bottom evenly. (A standard rolling pin is going to be too big for this. A small piece of pvc pipe works great!) Put  flour on pvc to prevent dough from sticking to it.

Roll one batch of almond paste right on top of bottom layer of dough. It helps  to drop small blobs of the almond paste, evenly distributed, around the pan before rolling it out. The paste WILL stick to the pvc, so flour the pvc  well and frequently.

Roll out the top layer of dough on top of the almond paste. Be careful to not press too hard, or you'll squish everything out of place.

Make an egg wash mixture with one yolk diluted with about one teaspoon of water. Brush the egg wash on the top layer of  dough.

 Bake in 300 degree oven 40 - 45 minutes. Cool and cut into 40 squares (5 X 8).

 

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