Foodie Blogroll

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Banket (Dutch Pastry with almond filling) family recipe

This wonderful flaky almond filled pastry is something that I grew up eating every Christmas. As with most food and family recipes...it always brings back such good memories of family and holidays. In Grand Rapids and really most of west Michigan it seems every one who is Dutch (which is many) has their own version or recipe for banket (pronounced bahn-KET) with a flaky buttery crust and almond paste (not marzipan) rolled throughout, not too sweet and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.


I have been wanting a chance to make it with my mother and document it for the blog, but she lives in Michigan and with me in Florida for the last 21 years it just never happened. When my parents visit in February she will bring me some almond paste and one year she did show me how to assemble it, but the filling and dough was already made. The one time we did make it back to Michigan for Christmas a couple of years back, of course it was already made and ready to eat.

So I had my sister mail me grandma's banket recipe (my mom could never find hers). I've had it for awhile but was always a bit timid to try making it on my own, besides it makes a lot and we don't usually have many people around for Christmas any more down here in Florida. Not this year I decided to put on my big girl panties and try making it all by myself.

It is such a family tradition, my sister makes it with her daughters-in-law, and makes it her way. I never was interested in making it when my grandmother was alive...I just enjoyed eating all her wonderful baking. She was the best. My mom learned from my dad's mom, both his parents are Dutch. My mom's dad was Dutch, but her mom was Welsh, so she learned how to make it from my grandma Bouwman, my dad's mom.
This was her actual recipe such as it was, like most of her recipes: my input is in blue after calling my mom several times while trying to make it.

Grandma Bouwman's Banket
Crust:
1 pound butter/oleo, soften at room temp (I used cold butter, like you would making pie crust)
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar (optional) I skipped the sugar
3/4 cup milk - make sure it's cold
Mix well until crumbly, add milk. Form into dough using fork, divide into eight balls.
Roll out each ball to form rectangle, put almond filling on crust.




My take on this: I used a pastry cutter like you would when making pie crust, cutting in the butter until you get a crumbly oatmeal-like texture. Use cold butter and cold milk or water so it will be nice and flaky...form into dough try not to over-work the dough. After talking to my mother she said another old recipe she had has you refrigerate the dough and filling overnight. My personal tip would be to form it into the eight balls, and then flatten them first before refrigerating them.



Filling:
1 pound almond paste (2 cups)
2 cups sugar (you could probably use a little less, but I use a scant 2 cups)
3 eggs (I think next time I will us 2 eggs)
Mix well, put in fridge to harden. Add flour to make it less sticky when putting it on crust.
My take on this: I had a block of almond paste that mom brought down from Michigan. They can get it every where up there...if you can't find almond paste, you can make your own almond paste try this one here
My mom told me to beat the eggs and sugar first then add the almond paste after breaking it into crumbles.

Bake 10 minutes at 425° then 15 minutes at 350°
I found I had to bake this longer. If you want to bake it like a pie you can bake it high heat for 15 minutes then turn it down and bake another 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Make sure your dough is nice and cold. I would brush an egg wash on before baking next time, I didn't on these and they came out fine, but sometimes my grand mother would.

This was the almond paste mixture after it was in the refrigerator overnight.

When I was trying to mix the almond paste my mom suggested to beat the eggs first with a hand mixer, so I did, I think I did it too much and it became a little frothy, then I added the crumbled almond paste and sugar. I think I should of added the sugar with the eggs, then added the almond paste. Mine turned out fine, but it was different from my mother's. I think 2 eggs would work fine in it. I didn't add any extra flour because it was very spreadable this way...maybe because of the three eggs. Maybe I should stick to it this way, my mom would spread it with her hands and flour her fingers, and place little pieces around all over the dough. It was sticky to work with!

I just used a rubber spatula to spread it on. My mom cautioned me not to have too much filling do it won't ooze out on the baking pan. She said she added too much last year and she didn't like the way it turned out.

You are supposed to roll the dough out into rectangles, but I got it as close as I could, and they still turned out even without smooth edges. You can cut and paste it, the dough seems to handle it well.


To keep it a family tradition I got my daughter involved...of course she asked to roll some of her own...so I had to stand back and let her do it!!
And she did great! Of course I have such a small area it's so difficult to have two people in the kitchen at the same time. It was also 80° out and seemed very hot with to oven on, I know my grandma and mom didn't have to deal with weather like that in Michigan at Christmas time! :)

The dough is rolled out thin sorta like a pie dough would be...dusting the work surface and rolling pin with flour as you go. After you roll up the filling inside the logs, seal it with water. Since I used a little more filling than my mother did I made sure it was sealed well and gave it a little pinch too.


I have baked the "logs" that my mom gave me (they freeze really well) at 350° or 375° for 30 - 35 minutes. I didn't know the directions at that time, so I think you can do it that way without having to start out baking it at high heat and turning it down. Just keep any eye on it until its a nice golden brown.


If you don't have a stoneware baking pan or pizza stone, line your cookie sheet with parchment paper so it browns up nicely. I didn't use an egg-wash in this batch.


After the first batch was done baking I had to call my mom again to see how long I had to wait before I can cut into them. I couldn't wait... mmm...so good and reminds me of my mom's...


...they were nice and flaky, the almond filling didn't ooze out (of course I like it oozing out a little when it caramelizes up a little) .


It is so good for breakfast the next morning, not too sweet, delicate flavor.

Even though I kept calling my mom several times throughout the process...and she said "why don't you wait until I get there in February" I think it turned out pretty good.

I do think that it is easier to cut if you can wait until it cools completely. I gave one (log) to my aunt and uncle when we met them for dinner, after all it is his mother's recipe...they are going north for Christmas. She says it's been awhile since she's had it she's never made it...I hope they enjoy it as much as we do.


I hope it make sense to all of you who haven't grown up with this pastry, I just wanted to share it with you. Every time I would bring this anywhere everyone would ask for the recipe...it's been long over due. Please feel free to ask any questions, and have a happy holiday!


29 comments:

  1. What a great tradition this is! A beautiful recipe.

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  2. While I'm sure having mum there would make it more enjoyable to make, I do think it turned out splendidly! Looks delish :)

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  3. This is a nice treat for Christmas dinner. Wishing you and your family a blessed Chritsmas and Happy New Year.

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  4. Yum! I'm glad you put your big girl panties on and did it perfectly, Lyndsey! The tradition part is what makes it all taste so good and I certainly wish I had a taste of it! Here's wishing you and yours the best of holidays!

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  5. You make me want to come and visit you now so that I can have a taste of this banket. It sounds so delicious. Thanks for sharing it with us. I know this may sound strange but this banket reminds me of a pastry in Penang that has a spiral flaky crust with a paste filling. I have not eaten it in years.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  6. Old family recipes are most often the best. This one really tempting to try. Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays Lyndsey.
    Rita

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  7. These look very delicious! I love almonds and your filling sounds good! Beautifully done!

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  8. I am thoroughly obsessed with almond treats so I can't believe I've never heard of this! Sounds delicious!

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  9. Hi Lyndz, thanks for stopping earlier. Finally, get here in time to give you guys a BIG hug & wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. I'm sure you & your family will have a fabulous X'mas. And also thanks for sharing one of your family recipe. I am loving it. Going to give it a go soon.
    Do take care & have loads of fun & laughter.
    May god bless you all. ((hugs))
    Best wishes,
    Kristy

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  10. What lovely cookies Lyndsey. Memories make everything taste more special don't they. Love the sea urchin shell ornament and the colorful tropical fish on your tree too.

    It was such fun to meet you and your family this fall. Meakin and I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.
    Cheers,
    Sam

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  11. A perfect Christmas treat!
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  12. You can't go wrong with any recipe that starts with a pound of butter...Wishing you & your family a Merry Christmas!

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  13. I love almonds on anything! The pastry looks so nice and flaky. Would love To have this with coffee. Happy Christmas Lyndsey!

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  14. Hi Lindsey-Your grandmother's banket recipe is so inspiring, and looks delicious. Such a labor of "love' to make hand-me-down family recipes. So nice of you to share it. The almond paste filling is amazing! I make my nut roll very similar...it's a Hungarian old recipe. I'm making it tonight for Christmas day!
    BTW-guess you saw my nostalgic "babble talk"...LOL
    just had to remove it and make it less/is better!
    Was just remembering the old days, as I was typing along with my thoughts:((
    Wishing you and your sweet family a very Merry, and Blessed Christmas!
    (you have such pretty hands, and long slim fingers)...ever thought about hand modeling?

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  15. These look really good, very flaky! Thank you for always stopping by my blog. It's been a crazy year and I haven't kept up very much with everyone, but I always appreciate your visit. Merry Christmas!

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  16. Thank you everyone for your sweet comments.

    Bo - I know right? A whole pound of butter, but it does make 8 logs.

    Elisabeth - Ha! are you saying I have too much babble talk? :) And those are my daughter's hands...her teachers and friends always told her she should be a hand model...she has long legs too. My hand is in the next photo, covered with flour.

    Wishing you all a happy Christmas.

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  17. Rich and Yummy! (And the hands..wowed)
    Merry Christmas!

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  18. I have never tried this...and I can't believe it. Don't I know anybody of Dutch descent!? I am totally addicted to almond paste...I wouldn't be able to stop eating this. Looks amazing. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Years :D

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  19. This looks like a pastry my husband grew up eating too. His grandparents immigrated from Holland just before his father was born. Wishing you a new year filled with all your favorite things.

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  20. Oh almond paste - that immediately gets my attention. Love seeing a Dutch recipe - don't see many of those. Wishing you all good things in the coming year - may it bring joy.

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  21. Almond and pastry does make a wonderful dessert. While I have never made this your instruction and pictures made it clear, so that gives me a little incentive that I can make these without much trouble.
    Those slices look so tasty and delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  22. love this and congrats on making it you did great happy new year big hugs

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  23. Tracking back again...so it's your daughter's hands, and yours is with the flour on your hands, and finger...should have known, since you don't have nail polish on you can dirty up your hands, like I do, really get into the messy flour, and dough!
    The "babble talk" was on my part, when I get carried away with my thoughts, I just write them down, and later thinking; "now why did I write this?"...but if I compose first what I want to write, it would take me all day, to keep editing it!

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  24. Elisabeth - Yes, no polish so I can get my hands into it! My daughter never was one for getting her hands dirty...can you tell? :) We she was little and the teacher would have them make hand print butterflies or turkey...I could always tell which one she made even without her name on the paper!

    I do the same thing when writing a post...go back and take out a lot of "babble"...thinking they really don't want to hear all of this...so I do try to slim it down! I'll save that for my emails to you! ;)

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  25. I've never heard of Banket so this is my first time seeing it. Wah your daughter has beautiful long finger and pretty nail... =P I would love to have this. Thank you for sharing Dutch traditional pastry!

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  26. Wow thanks for this recipe, I've been searching this and I'm so happy that I saw your site. This recipe really looks delicious, I'm going to try it hope it will come up delicious as yours. Thank you so much. You can also visit my site to read informative articles. http://www.aipingwang.net

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  27. I just did a search for banket recipes and this link came up. I smiled when I read Grand Rapids, as I grew up there too. I haven't had banket for years, but I guess I'm feeling a little homesick since I'm not going back to MI for the holidays, so I'm going to try making it this weekend. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Update: Made the banket and it was even better than I remembered! I used about 2-1/2 eggs for my filling, and used the rest for brushing on top of the roll before baking. It was perfect. Thanks!

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  28. I grew up on a farm SW of Grand Rapids,MI and still live in SW Michigan (Kalamazoo).I'm also 100% Dutch. Just made Banket. Had bought plenty of Almond Paste for Christmas baking and had 1 block leftover. Since I gave most of the pre-Christmas Banket away I decided to bake another batch. Arctic cold air past 5 days plus 10+ inches of snow has me cooped in so baking was in order:) I formed my almond filling into a "log" in middle of the rolled rectangle and just roll it up, so all the almond filling is in the middle of the pastry. Wonderful with hot coffee on a cold winter morning!

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