Dutch letters (pastries)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Butter
4 cups Flour
1 cup Ice water
3 \N Whole eggs; (plus 2 egg whites)
1 pounds Almond paste; (available in supermarkets)
2 cups Sugar; (plus some for sprinkling)
1 teaspoon Vanilla

This is a pastry recipe I found in a little spiral bound cookbook from Pella, Iowa. I haven't made them for a while, but they're very popular.

They are very sweet, but most people love them. I used to make them in the first letters of my family or friends names.

Someday I want to try them adjusting the sugar and using potato candy instead of almond paste just to see if this would be an inexpensive variation. You can make the almond paste yourself, too. I have not yet tried either, though. I make them exactly as described below.

Here is how they were described in the cookbook: "This is an old recipe from my great, great aunt, which my mother used and now I am using. Some 25 years ago, I shared this recipe with the Central College Auxiliary, and we make hundreds of them each year for our Annual Tulip Time Celebration, and also for our Central College International Fair." MAKE THE DOUGH: Cut butter into flour as for pie crust. Stir in water. Mix to form dough. Chill overnight (or longer).

MAKE THE FILLING: Beat almond paste until smooth. Add 2 cups of the sugar, whole eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly blended. Chill overnight (or longer).

ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: When ready to bake the pastries, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter cookie sheets. Set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator, and divide into 14 equal parts. For each of the 14 portions: Roll one section of dough into a 14x4½-inch strip. Take a heaping tablespoon of filling and spread it down the center of the dough strip. Lap one side of the dough over the filling. Lap the other side of the dough over the filling. Pinch ends shut. Shape letter (or leave in one long strip). Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet. Beat reserved 2 egg whites. Brush some of the beaten egg white over the pastry on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle sugar evenly over top of pastry. Prick with fork every 2 inches to allow steam to escape. Bake ½ hour. Posted to EAT-L Digest by Caroline Perry <perrywinkles@...> on Feb 9, 1998

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