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 a little while. 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.
1/3 cup of sugar
1 envelope of vanilla sugar
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 375F. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt. Fold it carefully into the egg mix. Try to mix it in within ten strokes: you are trying to keep as much air as you can in the batter. Cover the bowl with a towel for a good five minutes and in the meantime prepare a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Carefully spoon six large portions of the batter onto the parchment paper or the mat. Slide the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake the cakes for twelve to fifteen 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!