Posted on 09/30/2013 by mamapranayama
My mother was born in the Netherlands and emigrated to the U.S. in the 1950's and this is one of my favorite recipes from her home country. The flaky, buttery crust combined with a delicious, almond filling makes this pastry a unique treat. I don't get the chance to make this very often, but when I do, it never lasts long around my family as they gobble it up like a pack of ravenous wolves.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (two sticks) cold butter (margarine or shortening is not recommended. Do not soften butter)
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup almond paste (or an 8 ounce can)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1tsp almond extract
dash of salt (optional)
Topping: 1 egg white
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Sliced almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium to large sized bowl, cut the butter into the flour and combine until the mixture is crumbly. Create a depression in the center of the flour and butter and slowly add the cold water into the well. Mix well with a wooden or plastic mixing spoon and add small amounts of additional flour until the dough becomes smooth and forms a ball.
Chill dough in the refrigerator and move on to making the filling.
For the filling, combine the almond paste, sugar, almond extract and egg together in a mixing bowl. Almond paste tends to be rather hard, so using either a stand or hand mixer is recommended. Mix until well blended and mostly smooth (it will be somewhat lumpy, this is fine)
Retrieve your dough from the fridge and divide it into four parts. Roll one of the dough portions into a ball and place it onto a flat surface covered in flour. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a long rectangular shape approximately 12 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Spoon the filling into the center of the dough, leaving about an inch on all sides. Fold the ends over the filling first and then bring up the sides and pinch the dough together to seal it ( you may want to wet your fingers with a little water to help create a better seal and prevent blow-outs of the filling). Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.
Place the rolled bankets onto a greased cookie sheet or baking stone, sealed side down. Whisk 1 egg white and brush it over the top of each banket generously and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Add sliced almonds to the top if desired. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes at 425 F until they are a light, golden brown.
Let cool and enjoy!