Handkerchief Cookies


aka Zakdoekjes

I have a thing for Dutch baking and a few posts to prove it - Gevulde koekenDutch pancakeGevulde speculaas .. The odyssey started last summer when I visited Amsterdam for the first time and I have been visiting and revisiting their cooking sites, blogs and books ever since. Not to mention my admiration for the Chief Dutch baker Rudolf.
I keep thinking how good it would be to make sort a of Serbian-Dutch-Scandinavian baking book one day and unite the cultures of the North and the South through baking - their calmness, practicality and sense for simplicity with our passion, liveliness and desire to be the best in .. well pretty much everything. Could I successfully mix oil and water? Who knows. First things first - I have to master the art of baking, and by saying that I mean getting better at it, although coming even close to that stage would be an essay writing worth of feeling.
With that (and a few more) ideas in mind I keep baking. A few northerly bakes are patiently waiting in my draft box, more are on my to do list and I am still finding new ones that I can't wait to try. All of them unpretentious with a touch of something special - my favourite kind of baking. Then as you will find out soon in one of the coming posts, I have also had a call from the Middle East. I never, ever thought in a million years that extra sweet and spicy food would speak to me. That is what passion for something does to you and why I keep my options open when saying few more ideas.
Have I mumbled enough about what pretty pictures my daydreaming brings to me? I certainly think so and I better give you the recipe for these crispy, elegant handkerchiefs that come from the Drenthe province of the Netherlands. It requires a cone waffle iron (courtesy of my husband from one of his business trips to the Netherlands) that I've already used a few times but posted only Ice cream waffle cones .

 Handkerchief Cookies Zakdoekjes)

makes 10-12 cookies

160 g sugar
80 ml warm water
55g melted butter
135 g flour
1 small egg
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla sugar or essence

Begin by dissolving the sugar in warm water and melting the butter in a separate bowl. Set both aside and when cool add the beaten egg into the sweet water, stir in the flour, then add the butter and vanilla, mix until well incorporated into a silky thick batter.
Preheat the waffle iron to a medium to hot setting and bake one waffle at the time using around 40 ml of the batter ( depends on the size of the iron) - make a test with your first handkerchief cookie. Don't open the iron for about a minute to allow batter to settle, then you can check it and continue baking until it reaches a golden brown colour. When it's done fold it in half, and then again in half and transfer to a cooling rack to crisp up.
To remain crispy, keep them in an airtight container. They are traditionally served with plum compote and powdered with icing sugar.

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