This comment (from my cousin) was in response to my post about my traditional Norwegian Christmas cookie post. I took this as a challenge, so I texted him asking for the recipe. A few days later, it arrived in the mail with an additional page of hints and clarifications to the recipe. As I read over the notes and recipe, I tried to visualize each step, it seemed complicated. I put it aside for a few weeks, planning to return to the challenge once I was finished working in schools.
Ingredients were gathered, I reread the recipe, made a quick call to my cousin to clarify a point, then I began. First I stirred up the almond paste filling. It seemed easy enough, I divided it into fourths, then rolled it into a log, wrapped it in Saran wrap to be refrigerated.
Almond aroma fills the air as I stir the filling.
Pleased with how the filling went, I tackled the pastry portion. This seemed a bit trickier, there were only three ingredients: flour, butter, and ice water. How in the world were these three ingredients going to turn into a flaky pastry? I carefully cut the butter into the flour with the pastry cutter. Slowly I added the ice water, stirring until it became a dough ball. I divided the ball into two portions, wrapped them up, and refrigerated them for several hours.
Once the dough was thoroughly chilled, I rolled it out on my counter (I sprinkled a little cornstarch to prevent sticking). The dough was split down the middle and a tube of filling was placed inside. Working quickly I sealed the dough around the filling with a bit of water.
Rolled dough and almond filling
Soon all dough was rolled out, sealed as tight as possible to prevent the filling from leaking out. I pricked the top to vent the pastry, brushed on egg white, and sprinkled with sugar.
Before baking, wondering if it is sealed.
After removing the tray from the oven, I took a picture and sent it to my cousin, “Do these look right?” I inquired. “Great for a first try!” was the response I got. But we would not know if this was a successful endeavor until we took that first bite.
After baking, no filling leaked out. The brown bits are from the egg white brushed on them.
I sliced a piece off the log roll, the outside was crispy and flaky. The inside was delicious almond goodness. I think I have a new holiday tradition to bake every year, my Dutch heritage will insist that Banket (bahn-KET) be a part of our holidays.
Banket is hard to resist.