1/4 cup Spanish peanuts
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sometimes this whole Dutch food mapping quest throws me a curve ball. Ever since I was a child, I remember these crispy, sweet cookies to be flavored with peanuts. Heck, I even thought that the name for it, kletskop* (bald head), was because of the glabrous goobers rising above the flat surface of the cookie.
But when looking up kletskop recipes in my collection of cookbooks, I noticed that the ingredients consistently listed almonds. Either ground or chopped almonds, but no peanuts. I consulted some of the Dutch friends that were online whether they remembered kletskoppen with peanuts or almonds, and all but one remembered peanuts. On top of that, last Christmas when I spent some time in Holland I bought an array of cookies (gotta love the extent of research I do for this blog!!) and I distinctly remember the kletskoppen having peanuts.
What to do, what to do? For authenticity's sake I would use almonds, since that seems to be the official version, but for memory's sake I'm more inclined to go with peanuts, seeing as how that's what seems to be the "right" cookie. So I made both. And I definitely favor the peanut one, if only for the fact that it makes the cookie bulkier and nuttier.
If you are allergic to nuts, make the cookie by itself or substitute the nuts for chocolate chips, raisins etc....If someone else along the line changed almonds to peanuts without telling any of us, you are more than welcome to make this cookie your own!
*Kletskop can also mean "chatterbox". Where the name comes from is unclear but the city of Leiden seems to claim kletskoppen as their own.
4 tablespoons of butter, room temperature1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup Spanish peanuts
1/2 cup of brown sugar, tightly packed
1/3 cup of flour
Cream the butter with the sugar and the cinnamon. Add flour one tablespoon at a time until it's all absorbed. Fold in the peanuts and preheat the oven to 400F. Place the rack right above the middle position.
Take the tray out of the oven, let the cookie cool for a minute or two, then carefully transfer it to a cooling rack. It will harden as it cools. Did it spread too much? Add half a tablespoon of flour and mix it into the dough. Did it not spread enough? Add half a tablespoon of water. Try again. Once you have the right result, roll the rest of the dough into marbles and bake. Check after five minutes to make sure they're not burning, remove and after cooling for a minute or two, transfer them to a cooling rack. Store in a cookie jar, as humidity will soften these babies up in no time!
Makes approximately 20 cookies. This is a fantastic cookie to go with a cup of coffee or tea. Because of its crispness, it lends itself beautifully to more than just a treat with your daily beverage of choice. Add texture to your puddings with a crisp kletskop or use two cookies for an ice cream sandwich!