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Hope you liked my last post on No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies! I spent my Sunday baking loads of cookies, not just these quick ones. I also made some super cute looking Swirled Fig Cookies. These take a little more time but hey: then you have cookies that look awesome.

Some time ago I made savory snacks with figs but I thought it was time for some sweet snacks.

This is what you need:

For the Fig Filling:

  • 170 gr. dried figs, finely chopped
  • 55 gr. sugar
  • 125 ml. water
  • 0.25 tsp. ‘Speculaaskruiden‘ or cinnamon
  • 40 gr. peeled almonds, finely chopped

For the cookie dough:

  • 170 gr. butter
  • 110 gr. brown caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 350 gr. flour
  • 0.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp. cinnamon
  • 0.25 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2-4 tbsp. milk

Let’s roll:

We start with the filling. Take a small sauce pan and add the finely chopped figs, sugar and water. Bring the substance to a boil while stirring, then turn the heat down and stir another 2-3 minutes until the mixture has become thick. Then add the finely chopped almonds and stir.  Let the mixture cool down.

Next up is the dough. Take a large mixing bowl and add the soft butter. Mix with a hand mixer until the butter is light and airy. Slowly add the sugar and mix the mixture creamy before adding more sugar. When all the sugar has been added you can add the egg and vanilla essence.

Sieve the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the milk and half of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mass and mix with a hand mixer with dough hooks. Finally add the remaining flour and knead the mass to a firm dough. Knead the dough into a ball and wrap it in kitchen foil to place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Next step is to create the cookies. Split the dough in two equal pieces. Roll one half out with a rolling pin to a rectangle of about 20×25 cm. Spread half of the fig filling out over the dough and then roll the dough lengthwise to a big roll. Wrap the dough roll in kitchen foil and place it back in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes. Repeat these steps for the second half of the dough.

Cover your baking tray with baking paper. Take the dough rolls out of the refrigerator and cut them in 1 cm. thick slices. Place the slices on the baking paper and bake them on 200 degrees Celcius for 10 to 12 minutes. When ready let the cookies rest on the baking tray for another minute or so before placing them on a roster to cool down completely.

Enjoy!

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Perhaps you have seen it already on my Instagram account, but my cookie jar is packed after a major ‘Cookie baking Sunday’. Today I’m revealing what was actually on the bottom of the picture on Instagram and hidden behind the cookies I will post on Saturday… A big badge of ‘No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies’.

From the two types of cookies I made on Sunday these are the better ones for a weekday. The name alone says it: no bake. Meaning no oven, no long baking times. All you need is a microwave, two minutes and PING! your cookies are done. :)

The ingredients and preparations are easy too. So if you are ever stuck at home with nearly empty kitchen cupboards you might be able to fetch yourself with some soul food in minutes.

This is what you need:

  • 120 gr. creamy peanut butter (with peanut chunks)
  • 40 gr. butter
  • 170 gr. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 120 gr. flour
  • 0.5 tsp. baking powder

You are 5 minutes away from your first badge of Peanut Butter Cookies:

Mix the peanut butter, sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and airy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix well. Finally add the baking powder and add the flour in a few badges while stirring. Knead to a firm dough. Then roll little balls of about the size of a teaspoon. Continue until all the dough has been used.

Then take the turntable plate out of your microwave and cover it with baking paper. Put about ten little balls and spread them across the plate. Make sure you stay about 2 centimeters away from the edge of the plate. Use a fork to gently flatten the little balls. This will also give a nice look to the cookies.

Bake the cookies in the microwave for 2 minutes at maximum heat. When you take them out you can flatten them a bit more if you like. (I did not flatten the cookies depicted in this post a second time.) Take the baking paper off the plate, with the cookies on, and put them on a roster to let the cookies cool down completely.

Then repeat the process until all the cookies are done.

This recipe is for about 50 small, bite-sized, cookies.

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This weekend my Danish friend Susanne is in Amsterdam to visit me! Wuhu! It will be no surprise that I wanted to post a Scandinavian dish today, honour of her and the lovely country of Denmark where I lived so many years. Since spring is here (I’m ignoring the occasional showers), and summer is coming I decided to go for the Scandinavian Koldskål Buttermilk Desert.

When you travel you learn most about yourself and your own country, culture and habits. During my time in Denmark the Scandinavian Koldskål Buttermilk Desert is one of the dishes that made me think about what dairy products are available in my own country.

As a milk producing and exporting country, the Dutch supermarkets tend to have a wide range of fresh dairy products. At least, when you compare it to non-milk producing countries like Spain or Italy. In these countries you can buy dairy products that can be kept for over 4 weeks. Coming from the Netherlands: the more south I travel the longer dairy products can be kept, and the less fluid the dairy becomes. 😉 I would even doubt if you can still call them dairy products, but ah well… I guess that is how I see it with my Dutch-cultural glasses on.

When I moved North, to Denmark, I found even more dairy products than I was used to and that were different on a different scale: sourness. I was used to having 3 variances of dairy: Milk, yoghurt and buttermilk. Oh and then there is the greek yoghurt, so 4. From least sour/most fluid to most sour/least fluid that would be:

Milk – Buttermilk – Yoghurt – Greek yoghurt.

In Denmark I found that there are many more variances! Check this out:

Milk – A23 – Tykmaelk – Buttermilk – Ymer – Yoghurt – Greek yoghurt

Crazy huh? Imagine me buying A23, thinking it is milk, just a different brand of milk. You should have seen my face when I started drinking it. It’s ok really, it tastes pretty good, but if you expect the flavour of milk it is definitely disappointing. A23 is more sour than milk.

Todays recipe is called Koldskål, which means cold dish in Danish. It is a really refreshing mix of dairy products lemon and vanilla that especially popular in summer with fruit or cookies in it. Koldskål is normally made with two types of dairy: buttermilk and ymer. And since ymer is not sold in the Netherlands (or many other places in the world) I have tried to imitate it with products that are available… in the Netherlands: butter milk and greek yoghurt.

This is what you need for the koldskål (serves 4):

  • 500 ml. butter milk
  • 400 ml. greek yoghurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2,5 tbsp. vanilla sugar

For the kammerjunkere:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150 gr. sugar
  • 50 gr. butter
  • 300 gr. flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

This is how:

Mix the ingredients of the koldskål into a consistent mass.

Melt the butter and let it cool down a little. Mix the eggs and sugar and add the melted butter. Then mix the flour baking powder and salt and add it to the dough. Knead the dough lightly and let it rest in the refridgerator (covered) for one hour. Split the dough in 3 equal parts and roll them into a 3 cm thick roll.

Put the rolls on a baking tray that is covered with baking paper. Bake them for 25 minutes at 175 degrees Celcius.

Take the rolls out of the oven and let them cool down on a roster for about 2 minutes. Then cut the dough into 0.5 cm thick slices and put the slices back on the baking tray. Bake the cookies again for 15 minutes at 175 degrees Celcius.

Let the kammerjunkere cool down completely before serving them with the koldskål.

Serve the Koldskål with kammerjunkere and/or fresh fruits.

 

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Todays cookies are a little variance on my earlier posts ‘Chocolate Chip Cookies’ and ‘White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies’.

This time I baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies. Definitly worth trying.

What is your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie?

For 18 Cookies you need:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 170 gr unsalted butter
  • 200 gr yellow caster sugar
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 eggyolk
  • 180 gr white chocolate chips (or finely chopped white chocolate)
  • 140 gr dried cranberries

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Let’s do it:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Take one of your oven plates and cover it with baking paper. Then sieve the flour, baking soda and salt into a big bowl and mix it. Melt the butter but don’t let it cook. Put it into a second mixing bowl together with the yellow caster sugar and sugar and mix the ingredients. Then add the vanilla extract, egg and eggyolk and mix the ingredients to a creamy substance.

Then add the flour mixture and mix it well. Finally add the white chocolate chips and cranberries and stir the dough with a cooking spoon. Take your baking tray and put little heaps of dough on it, I used approx 2 large tablespoons of dough per cookie. Make sure that the heaps are about 8 cm apart, because the cookies will increase in size. Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven. Let the cookies cool down a bit on the baking tray before you put them on a roster to cool down completely.

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This recipe for Tropical Coconut Lime Macarons was a great find! They can make the sun shine every day!

I have to say that as a child I did not like coconut and for a long time I believed coconut was just not my thing. The reason? Bounty bars. I loved the commercials with the white sandy beaches but that could not convince me to eat Bounty chocolate bars.

I came to enjoy coconuts when I was in Brazil for an internship. The fresh coconuts that are sold in the streets there… just delicious. They are chopped open with a large knife. Three chops to create a triangular hole from which to sip the coconut milk with a straw. The sunshine, the beaches, just like in the Bounty commercials but better. So simple, and so good. Eating the fresh flesh was something else but I got to enjoy the flavour more and more.

I decided to make these coconut macarons because I love macarons but was looking for something more fresh rather than super sweet. The combination with the coconut rasp is just perfect.

Bounty chocolate bars are still not my favourite pick, but I think that is just a mental thing now. Not that it matters, if you have these tropical coconut lime macarons in your cookie jar…

This is what you need for 16-20 cookies:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 100 gr. Sugar
  • 100 gr. coconut rasp (dried and unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • rasped peep of 2 limes

Let’s go:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius and cover your baking tray with baking paper. Then, rasp the peel of 2 limes.

Take a heavy sauce pan and mix the egg whites, sugar, coconut rasp and flour. Put the pan on a medium fire and stir the mixture until the mixture starts to come off the sides of the pan, and look like one dough ball. This takes about 10 minutes.

Then take the pan off the fire and and add the salt, lime rasp and vanilla extract to the mix. Stir well.

After that, we need to start making the macarons straight away. Take a full teaspoon of dough and put it on the baking paper. Repeat this process until all the dough is gone. You need to leave 3-4 cm between each macaron.

Bake the macarons for 10 to 12 minutes. When they are done the macarons will have a light golden bottom.

Take the macarons out of the oven and tilt the baking paper with the macarons from the baking tray to cool down.

Enjoy!

White Chocolate Macadamia cookies are my absolute favourite!

Last weekend I was out on a flea market trying to sell some of my old junk that had been stored in boxes for years without ever being used. I knew it would be a long day of dragging boxes, standing, waiting and hopefully selling, so I thought it would be good to have some motivational food with me for when the going would get tough.

Chocolate is always a good motivator I thought. I once read somewhere that it contains something that makes you feel happy. On the other side: nuts are high on energy. So I decided to combine the two into White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies. Yum!

And I have to say: It worked! We sold a lot of stuff and earned ourselves 250 EUR. Yay!

For 18 Cookies you need:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 170 gr unsalted butter
  • 200 gr yellow caster sugar
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 eggyolk
  • 180 gr white chocolate chips
  • 140 gr unsalted macadamia nuts

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Let’s do it:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Take one of your oven plates and cover it with baking paper. Then sieve the flour, baking soda and salt into a big bowl and mix it. Melt the butter but don’t let it cook. Put it into a second mixing bowl together with the yellow caster sugar and sugar and mix the ingredients. Then add the vanilla extract, egg and eggyolk and mix the ingredients to a creamy substance.

Then add the flour mixture and mix it well. Finally add the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and stir the dough with a cooking spoon. Take your baking tray and put little heaps of dough on it, I used approx 2 large tablespoons of dough per cookie. Make sure that the heaps are about 8 cm apart, because the cookies will increase in size. Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven. Let the cookies cool down a bit on the baking tray before you put them on a roster to cool down completely.

Yummy in your tummy!

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Besides pepernoten we have another typical Dutch snack that we eat around the 5th of December that is called Taai Taai. Sinterklaas brings them all the way from Spain. 😉

Taai taai is a type of cookie that is not rusk or crunchy but rather a little bit soft or even tough.

Literally Taai Taai translates to ‘Tough tough’ which kinda says it all I suppose. Don’t let the name scare you off though: contrary to a good steak, a taai taai cookie is actually at it’s best when it’s tough.

Here’s what you need for about 40 Dutch Taai Taai Cookies:

  • 190 grams of yellow caster sugar
  • 130 grams of  honey
  • 1 dl water
  • 200 gr rye flour
  • 230 gr white flour
  • 4 g zout
  • 15 gr anis powder or ‘gestampte muisjes’
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 beaten egg

It’s easier than you think:

Add the sugar, honey and water in a small sauce pan and heat it over a low fire until the ingredients have dissolved.

Mix the rye flour, white flour, salt, baking powder and anis powder in another bowl and then add the sugar-honey mixture. Knead the mixture well. You can start with a cooking spoon because the sugar-honey mixture will be hot! When the ingredients are kneaded into a consistent dough, cover the bowl with and let the dough rest for a day at room temperature.

The next day, knead the dough one more time before rolling it out on a table. Use some flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the table or rolling pin.

Then cut cookie shapes out of the dough with a glass or cookie cutters. I used christmas themed cookie cutters, how cute! Make sure though that the shape you use does not have to much details or narrow/thin parts. These parts will come out of the oven too hard. Brush a little beaten egg on top of each of the taai taai cookies and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake the cookies for around 20 minutes on 170 degrees until they are golden brown. To test if they are done you can gently push the dough: it should feel slightly elastic.

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Kruidnoten – Dutch ‘herbal nuts’ (and it’s not what you think it is…)

As the title of this post already says: this is a herbal snack.

Kruidnoten (also known as Pepernoten) are typical Dutch small cookies. Peper means Pepper, and noten means nuts: add it up and you get pepper nuts. The only thing is that there is no pepper nor nuts in this cookie recipe. I guess that is why in the supermarket they are often called kruidnoten: Spice-nuts. Still no nuts but maybe nuts refers more to the size and shape rather than the ingredients.

Spice is quite right though: For this dish you need a special mixture of spices that we can buy ready- blended in Dutch supermarkets, but that is not readily available abroad. You can do two things: import the spice mix via sites like Hema (where you can order loads of typical Dutch stuff), or make it yourself. Making it yourself is not hard but you will need some different spices, and either use a teaspoon and make a lot of it, or use smaller measurement thingies. Have a look at this page for help, and use google to translate. It is worth the effort :)

Pepernoten are eaten mostly around the 5th of December. That is when St. Nicolaas (also known as Sinterklaas) comes to the Netherlands on his steamship, all the way from Madrid, to bring presents to kids. Like Santa but different guy, different date. Every year St. Nicolaas brings along his helpers that have big bags of peppernuts that they throw around whenever they visit people’s houses.

If you want to do this right do the following: secretly bake the peppernuts, then ask your kids or loved one to put his shoe under the heating and sing a St. Nicolaas song. You should also put a carrot in the shoe for St. Nicolaas’ horse, you don’t want to piss him off. Then wait until your kids go to sleep and fill the shoe with peppernuts on behalf of St. Nicolaas (because I don’t think he covers countries outside of the Netherlands and Belgium, that’s Santa’s territory). When your kids or loved ones wake up in the morning they will be so happy!

 

Here’s what you need for the real Sinterklaas experience.

Let’s start baking:

Sift the flour in a bowl together with the sugar, baking powder, speculaas spices and a pinch of salt. Then add the butter and knead it into a consistent dough. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Put a sheet of baking paper onto a baking tray. Then roll little dough balls into your hands, each about 1cm in diameter. Put them on the baking paper and press them slightly down so they become a bit more flat in the bottom. Bake the Pepernoten for about 15 minutes and then turn the oven off. Leave them in for another 5 minutes, then take them out an let them cool down before you eat them.

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Classic chocolate chip cookies come in different shapes. I personally like the BIG ones that are crunchy on the outside but a little chewy on the inside. When I found this recipe I just had to try it. I was going on a girls only weekend in a beach side cottage so a chocolate snack was a perfect choice. If you want to know how good they are: some of the girls wanted only a little piece at first, but… they all came back to eat the rest of the cookie 😛

For 18 Cookies you need:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 170 gr unsalted butter
  • 200 gr brown sugar
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 eggyolk
  • 325 gr chocolate chips (or finely chopped dark chocolate)

Let’s do it:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Take one of your oven plates and cover it with baking paper. Then sieve the flour, baking soda and salt into a big bowl and mix it.Melt the butter but don’t let it cook. Put it into a second mixing bowl together with the brown sugar and sugar and mix the ingredients. Then add the vanilla extract, egg and eggyolk and mix the ingredients to a creamy substance.

Then add the flour mixture and mix it well. Finally add the chocolate chips and stir the dough with a cooking spoon. Take your baking tray and put little heaps of dough on it, I used approx 2 large tablespoons of dough per cookie. Make sure that the heaps are about 8 cm apart, because the cookies will increase in size. Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven. Let the cookies cool down a bit on the baking tray before you put them on a roster to cool down completely.

They are very good when they are still a little warm. Enjoy!