Dutch letters

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 cups Flour
½ teaspoon Baking powder; (optional)
1 pounds Butter
1 cup Cold water
1 pounds Almond paste
2 cups Granulated sugar; (plus additional sugar for sprinkling)
3 Whole eggs; slightly beaten
2 Additional egg whites; slightly beaten
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract; (optional)

I saw a recipe for Dutch Letters here so had to add mine, which is a little bit different. This is a great recipe someone gave me years ago on the list. (Thanks again, Teasel!) They're very sweet, but very impressive, and most folks just love them. I like to shape them into either the letters of the people's names, or for whatever group or occasiont I'm serving them at.

N. B.: You must prepare the pastry and filling at least 24 hours before you intend to bake the pastries.

~- Make the dough: . Sift together flour and baking powder. . Cut in butter until mixture resembles cornmeal. . Add cold water. Mix until smooth and consistency of pastry dough. . Cover and refrigerate overnight (or longer).

~- Make the filling: . Beat almond paste until smooth. . Add 2 cups of the sugar. Continue mixing until smooth. (If possible, use a blender or food processor for this step.) . Add the 3 whole eggs and the vanilla extract. .

Mix until thoroughly blended. . Cover and refrigerate overnight (or longer).

~- Assemble and Bake: . When ready to bake the pastries, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. if making 14 pastries, or 425 degrees F. if making 8. .

Butter cookie sheets. Set aside. . Remove filling from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. . Remove dough from refrigerator, and divide into either 8 or 14 equal parts. . For each part: ~ Shape into a ball. - Roll into a very large rectangle. (The pastry should be almost paper-thin. For 14 parts, this will be approximately 14 x 4½ inches long ... For eight parts, it will be almost twice that size.) - Divide filling into 8 or 14 portions (depending upon number of pastries you're going to make.) - Drop small dollops of filling over pastry and carefully and evenly spread with spatula. (Both filling and pastry will tear easily.) - Roll up jelly roll fashion (beginning at long side.) If pastry is too delicate, simply fold both sides up over filling. - Pinch ends shut. - Shape into letter (or leave in one long strip). - Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet. - Brush with slightly beaten egg whites.

~ Sprinkle sugar evenly over top of pastry. - Prick with fork every 2 inches to allow steam to escape. - Bake 25 - 30 minutes.

Yield: 8 - 14 pastries

NOTES: These can be made ahead and frozen either before or after baking.

Posted to EAT-L Digest by Elizabeth McClenthen <irisheyessmiling@...> on Feb 24, 1998

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