But back to the cookie. Gevulde koek, or filled cookie, is a crumbly, buttery, tender dough with an almond filling. The almond decorating the cookie is a dead giveaway. First you taste the cookie, then a sweet, slightly moist almond filling hits you and it's just heaven. Together with a hot cup of coffee (try Douwe Egberts sometime, a Dutch coffee brand and a national favorite), it is a combination that soothes travel irritations, whether you're going anywhere or not.
For the dough:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 scant teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of cold water
1 3/4 stick of butter
For the filling:
1 cup of almond paste*
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg white
2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of almond essence
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of milk
8 sliced or whole almonds
Mix the dry ingredients and cut the butter into the dough, until it has the consistency of wet sand. Add a tablespoon of ice cold water and knead the dough into a cohesive whole, making sure all the butter is well mixed in. Pat into an oval, cover with plastic film and refrigerate while you make the paste.
Set your oven to 350F and turn it on. Take the dough out of the fridge, cut it in half and roll one half out, to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut out out eight circles. I use the canning ring for a wide mouth jar, it's approximately 3 inches across. Roll the other half out and cut another eight circles (or more of course!). Place one huge heaping teaspoon of almond paste mix in the middle of one dough circle, place a second circle on top and carefully seal the edges. You can do this with a fork or by gently tapping it with your finger on top and to the sides.
When all are done, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet or on a silicone mat. Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush the top of the cookies, then place an almond on top. Bake for about thirty minutes or until golden.
Let them cool a little bit and enjoy this typical Dutch treat!
*If you don't have access to canned almond paste, you can easily make your own by processing two cups of slivered raw almonds, adding 1/4 cup of sugar and three tablespoons of water to make it into a thick paste.