Egg cakes are large, yellow, sweet, soft, round and slightly domed cakes. You can eat them plain, or spread with butter and sugar on the flat side, like they do in the province of Brabant. Or stick two together, sandwich style, with whipped cream and serve them with fresh strawberries. You can eat them for breakfast, for lunch, as a snack or as a late-night-i-don't-want-to-eat-anything-heavy-snack. Which, in that case, you should have two. Seriously.
Bakeries in Holland pride themselves on having the best eierkoeken (like so many other things): some are larger, some are smaller, some fluffier, some chewier......But very few venture away from the basic yellow, hint-of-vanilla, type of cake. Rumors exist of chocolate egg cakes and even raisin eierkoeken, but they wouldn't be so much eierkoeken anymore as just large eh...muffin tops, I guess. Some things are just not to be messed with!
The trick with these eierkoeken is to carefully mix the dry ingredients in without losing too much of the air incorporated, and then letting the batter sit for twenty minutes. It will be stiff and stringy when you scoop it onto a baking sheet and will eventually spread out, so do leave plenty of space in between.
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 envelope of vanilla sugar (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence)
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of self-rising flour
In a bowl, sift the flour (if you don't have self-rising flour, add two teaspoons of baking powder to 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and mix well), then carefully fold it into the egg mix. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for twenty minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 375F. Cover a baking sheet with some parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Carefully spoon six large portions of the batter onto the parchment paper or the mat on your baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake the cakes for ten to twelve minutes or until lightly golden.
It takes a little bit of practice to recognize the exact right moment, but there is no loss: even a little crunchy, the eierkoeken taste great and will, if stored in a plastic bag after they've cooled, soften up the next day. If you baked them so hard they've lost all moisture, store a slice of bread with the eierkoeken. They will have absorbed the moisture from the bread and softened.
Whether you enjoy your eierkoeken soft or crunchy, with some coffee, a cup of tea or even a cup of hot chocolate or anijsmelk, it's all good. Spread it with butter, eat it plain, or dig out the jar of Nutella from its hiding place and give the eierkoek a good swirl.....it's a great transportation vehicle for all kinds of spreadable goodies!