Friday, November 19, 2010

Jodenkoeken

The Dutch have a huge cookie culture. The shelves in the grocery store are loaded with sugary breads, cookies, tarts and every other product that can be eaten with a cup of coffee or tea. It is said that the Dutch will only offer you one cookie with your hot beverage, as they are so tight-fisted, but I have yet to experience that. Most hosts just leave the cookie jar on the table and invite you to help yourself.

A traditional Jodenkoeken cookie can.
Beside the coloring, flavors and shapes of the cookies, the most memorable are without a doubt their names: bokkepootjes (billygoat's legs), kletskop (bald head or chatterbox), Weesper moppen (blobs from Weesp), Arnhemse meisjes (girls from Arnhem), ijzerkoekjes (iron cookies), lange vingers (long fingers) or kattetongen (cat tongues). Another cookie with a huge following is the so-called "jodekoek" or Jewish cookies.

The story goes that Davelaar, a cookie baker, bought a bakery from a retiring Jewish baker in the early 1920. The bakery was famous for these large, sweet and buttery cookies and Davelaar continued to bake them, selling them in metal cookie cans and charging a deposit. During the seventies, the name of the cookie was considered not-politically-correct and Davelaar changed it for the export cookies, but never did for the national market. To this day it's called "Jodekoek" or Jewish cookie.

The size of the cookie is most remarkable, it measures a whopping 3.5 inches across. Not very impressive for an American cookie, but most certainly for a Dutch one. The ingredients are few but come together wonderfully as a sandy, buttery cookie: do make sure you use top quality ingredients.

Jodekoek
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup of self-rising flour, packed

Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the milk, the cinnamon and the sugar. Knead the flour into the mix, blending all the ingredients. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Dust the counter with flour and roll the dough thin, about 1/4th of an inch or less. Cut out the cookies with the help of a canning ring for widemouth jars, it's the right size. Place the cookies on parchment paper on a sheet pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown. The last few minutes you may want to keep an eye on the cookies as they "over-brown" rather quickly.

Enjoy with a cup of hot tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Nicole! I just enjoyed these lovely cookies, a Dutch friend visiting us brought as a typical Dutch cookie. Your recipe is very clear, but I absolutely need the precise quantities in grams if you can help me!! My family is eager to try the cookies again and there is no chance we can travel soon to The Netherlands to buy lots of them...and, as you can see, I too enjoy cooking!
    Many thanks in advance

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  2. hi- I can't help you completely with the grams- but a stick of butter is about 125 grams and a US cup is about 250ml- so if you have a 250 ml measure device- pack it tightly with the flour and 1/4 of that for the sugar- a tablespoon is 15ml and a teaspoon is 5ml
    hope that helps

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  3. Jennifer, thank you for stopping by and for your help, you're such a sweetheart! I emailed Doriana back in the day with conversions and she baked the Jodekoeken with great success: http://www.lasignoradeifornelli.it/jodekoek-%E2%80%93-biscotti-olandesi/

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  4. What about "very derogatory name for Black person) kisses. You know, the N word kisses. It's almost like a mallowmar. I have a Dutch spouse and we wer looking for th American equivalent of these cookies. Thank you for posting this about the cookies. I was curious because I received a catalog today and couldn't figure out why these cookies were considered jewish

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  5. I made them..but its just the same as 'zandkoekjes' (sandcookies or like the gingerbread cookies but only with cinnamon) I dont think it taste as the real jodenkoeken..I was a little disappointed

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  6. Anonymous, I am sorry you are disappointed. Jodekoeken are made with a zandgebak, and will therefore be very similar to zandkoekjes structurally. Trying to achieve the exact same taste as a factory-made product will be very difficult in a home kitchen, and even among the different jodekoeken brands (Davelaar, Lotus etc) there is a discrepancy in flavors. Additionally, as the cookie has such few ingredients, the quality and flavor of each highly influences the final outcome. I don't know what butter, sugar, water and cinnamon the factory uses, but I am convinced it is not the same product we use in our kitchens. Try to determine what it is that makes your jodekoek a jodekoek and implement that in the recipe: more sugar, less cinnamon or maybe a different type, bake longer or less....Have fun with it, experiment and make this recipe your own!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole, could you tell me what a stick of butter is? We are in Canada, is it a cup? Please let me know, so I can try these recipe's. Thank's Tina

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    2. Hi Tina, one stick of butter is 115 grams.

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  7. Where in Canada can you get self rising flour?

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