Since we are starting to at least think about our Christmas baking around here, I thought I would share some of our family favourite Christmas baking recipes! These are recipes I’ve made since I was little, to current new ones we’ve tried and really liked. All in all, I hope you enjoy these recipes and some great ideas on how to share them with others!
In the spirit of Dutch tradition, and since I am half Dutch, which is the most claim to any heritage I will ever get (aside from being “Canadian”), I’m going to share two of my family’s favourite Dutch recipes.
This is a yummy, delicious, slightly almondy “butter cake” (bet you couldn’t figure that out by the name :D) we used to make in triple and quadruple batches to deliver to the neighbors, complete with candied red and green cherries on top. We actually got complaints if we ever tried to deliver something different one year! It is a well loved and really easy to prepare recipe. You definitely will want to be adding this one to your baking list!
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 cup softened butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
Combine flour, sugar and powder. Add almond and butter. Add a little water to the beaten egg and add to almond mix, reserving a little for an egg wash on top.
Divide the dough in two pieces and pat each into a pie plate (we use foil ones). WARNING: you WILL need to lick your fingers, it is sticky, but at least resist the urge to lick until you’ve patted as much as possible into the pie plate :D
Top with slivered almonds and candied cherries (optional). Bake @ 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.
These freeze really well. Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap, then a zippered freezer bag, pop it in the freezer and you’ll have them on hand whenever you need them!
The second Dutch recipe I’m going to share is for Olie Bollen. This is really more of a New Year’s Eve tradition (and not one that we followed often as a family), but you can definitely serve these any time you like! They are much like an apple fritter (if you add the apple) but by FAR 100 times better.
3 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (bath temp)
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped apple (optional)
1 cup raisins (NOT optional if you’re a true Dutchie!)
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
icing sugar for dipping
Preheat oven on the lowest possible temperature setting. Add yeast to warm water in a bowl and wait for it to foam (about 5-10 minutes).
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add eggs, yeast, and milk. Beat until blended.
Turn off the oven. Cover the dough with a towel and place bowl inside the oven for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed, deep skillet. You want it to reach about 350 degrees F.
Mix the apples and raisins into the dough – or split the dough in two batches if you want one plain. Carefully drop the dough into the oil by teaspoons, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain dry. Repeat with remaining dough. Dust finished ones with icing sugar – try to resist eating ;0) These are definitely best eaten immediately!
Hope you enjoy some great Dutch treats! And as we like to say in Dutch “Eet smakelijk!” (just don’t ask me anything else in Dutch, or I might have to resort to my google translator…I told you I was only half Dutch! :D)