These delicious little morsels are about as Dutch as it gets (so I’ve been told!). The Dutch equivalent of the Anzac biscuit for us Aussies or the Choc Chip cookie for Americans, Gevulde Koeken are found all over Holland everywhere from vending machines in petrol stations to top notch bakeries and patisseries.
And no wonder – they are delicious! Layers of pastry biscuit enclosing a sweet and zesty almond filling, they are a morish mouthful that will keep you going back for more.
While often mass manufactured, they are easy to make and all the more delicious for a little labour of love in the kitchen. For something a little different, break out this recipe next time you need to take a plate for morning tea, you won’t be sorry!
For the dough:
- 400g plain (all purpose) flour
- 200g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 250g unsalted butter (cold chopped)
- 2-4 tablespoons chilled water
- Slivered or blanched almonds to decorate
For the filling:
- 200g almond paste (raw marzipan)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 egg
How to do it:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Weigh the dry ingredients for your dough and place these in a food processor with the chopped butter. Blitz in short bursts until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs (you can do this by rubbing the butter in by hand, but a little machinery makes life a lot easier!).
2. Slowly add the chilled water, a little at a time while blitzing in short bursts just until the dough comes together (if using a food processor be careful not to over process or the dough will be tough.)
3. Tip the dough out onto a floured bench and shape into a disc. Cover in gladwrap and leave to rest in a cool spot for about an hour or so.
4. While the dough is resting you can get on with the almond filling. Roughly break up the marzipan (almond paste) with your fingers. Zest the lemon and add it the marzipan, and then add the lightly beaten egg. Beat these together with electric beaters until smooth.
Note: if your almond mixture looks a little runny you can mix in a teaspoon or two of almond meal to help thicken it, but no more.
5. When your dough is rested, unwrap it and cut the disc in half. Roll one half of the dough out to a thickness of about 2mm. Then use a biscuit cutter to cut approximately 24-30 rounds (about 3 inches in diameter.)
Note: I only needed to use half my dough to make the 24-30 rounds although this will vary depending on how thick you roll out your dough. I froze the other portion of my dough for use another day!
6. Place half your rounds on a parchment lined baking tray and put your almond filling into a piping bag (or a ziploc bag, squeezing it the corner before cutting the corner tip off.) Pipe the filling into the centre of your rounds leaving an edge of dough around the outside.
7. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush the edges of each round. Then place the top layer of dough on top and gently press around the edges to seal the almond filling inside (I used a fork to give mine a pretty pattern.) Use the last of the egg to glaze the tops of the cookies and finish each one with a slivered or blanched almond for decoration.
8. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden and enjoy one (or two!) with a nice cup of tea!
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