Monday, November 22, 2004

Maybe it's the wooden clogs...

But, I made a disturbing amount of Dutch food this weekend. You see, some odd months ago, I picked up a Dutch cookbook from the Thrift store (for the low low price of 0.80). I'd not really made much from it, other than a set of very eggy pancakes, which I wasn't happy with.

This all changed this past weekend when, looking to feed my bandmates, I found a recipe in it for a curried lima bean soup (kerrie soep van witte bonen), for which I happened to have all the ingredients I needed. After that, it was all over. Next came the Dutch Spice Cake (Ontbiktkoek), a chewy, dense loaf which smelled deliciously like gingerbread in the oven. Then, the Hague's Bluff (Haagse Bluf), a marshmallow-y spread meant for spreading on lady fingers or the like (though it tasted just as yummy on the spice cake). I finished the night off with Genevieve begging me to be done cooking Dutch food. Oh..and a half batch of Peppernuts (pepernoten). Peppernuts are a holiday treat for little Dutch children, thrown into the house by 'Black Peter', upon his arrival. They're decidedly not sweet (though they do have a moderate amount of sugar) and are more appropriate to have with tea, instead of for dessert.

Here's the recipe (edited *)
Pepernoten

1 1/4 cups Flour
1 1/4 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 tsp each of: cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered cloves, anise seeds
a pinch of salt
4 tbsp water
2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 350
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Form a well in the center and add the liquid. Knead until it forms a smooth ball. Coat a large cookie pan with either butter or cooking spray. Split dough into marble size balls and place, in a uniform fashion, onto the pan, flatting slightly with the palm of your hand. It should make about 90 balls (approx 2 cookie sheets worth)
Bake for 20 minutes. The end result should be hard and a light golden brown.

* This book was full of "you should already know how to do this" recipes, often involving instructions as simple as "mix all ingredients and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes". This recipe, in particular, must assume that you used magic as well, as the original called for, in no way/shape/form enough liquid to get anything more than crumbly spice flour. I've altered it to what I did last night. If yours is still too dry, add a bit of milk. The dough should be smooth, but not tacky.

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