Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gevulde Koeken

Gevulde koeken are the Dutch equivalent of the American chocolate chip cookie: if there's only one cookie to be had, this will be the one. A favorite of many, it is often associated with ice skating, gezellige afternoons drinking tea with friends and, in my particular case, with traveling by train. Practically each train station in the Netherlands has a small kiosk where you can buy cookies, magazines, coffee, and hot snacks. If the station is really small, most often you can still get a cup of coffee and a cookie. And if wherever you are getting on the train is so small you can't even find that, there will be a chance to buy a refreshment on the train. And I bet you that even that refreshment cart has gevulde koeken......

The Dutch usually don't travel by train for just a hop, skip and a jump. Within the cities, you usually travel by tram, bus, metro or bike. To reach other places, for example if you want to go from Amsterdam to Maastricht, you would travel by train unless you had a car. This last activity usually goes paired with, sometimes undeserved, grumbling towards the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railroads). Not all trains run on time, all the time. Especially this winter, with the huge amounts of snow and the incredibly low temperatures, train travelers were often confronted with delayed trains, missing connections or no trains at all. But look at the gorgeous view when the sun comes out!

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.

Gevulde koek
For the dough:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
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

For brushing:
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.

Now crumble up the almond paste and beat it with the rest of the ingredients until it's foamy and thick. If you think it's too runny, add a tablespoon of flour, but not more. Look at the picture of the filling to see how thick it's supposed to be - thick enough to pipe and to stay put.

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.


  1. Gevulde koeken is a big favorite, aspecially when large and juicy. I do not like the ones with the very hard dry outer rim, like the cheap brands have. I do guess most people like them a lot, but my father did not like 'm one bit. This, because it also was the default cookie in the army, so my father ate them for almost 2 years, and that sort of cured him for ever ;-). I never made it that long in the army, plus since I was stationed in Egypt, we did not have them that often, so I still like 'm to date...

  2. hmmmmm gevulde koeken. They are definitely one of the best cookies around. They were delicious Nicole. Sign me up for another batch :)

  3. Typing this with one hand because I'm munching on one of these right now. Used your recipe today and they came out wonderfully! :)

  4. Thanks for the message, Shadee, I'm glad you like 'm, they're a tad addictive :-)

  5. Hi Nicole,
    I just got back from a holiday in Utrecht and found your blog. I can't wait to try out some of your recipes and just spread the word on my blog -
    Going to bake the Gevulde Koeken this weekend!
    Best Wishes!

  6. Hi Nicole, I am so glad I found your site! I had to try these cookies immediately as they are my favorite! I think mine came out a little too crunchy but nonetheless, they were delicious and all consumed in no time.
    My friend, who never tried Gevulde Koek before, told me that she now has a new favorite cookie!
    Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful recipes from home, it's so nice to know that I can make them from my own kitchen!

  7. I made these tonight and all I can say is...WOW. Even my very Dutch husband said...WOW. They're fantastic! He said he can't remember having eaten better ones anywhere. Thanks for a great recipe! It's definitely a keeper. I just discovered your blog and I can't wait to try more!!

  8. Nicole, I'm glad you and your husband liked them, they are definitely a great cookie!

  9. Hi, I've been looking for a recipe for this cookie ever since a wonderful bakery in Greenville, MI closed down. I'm going to try it in a few minutes, but I believe you probably mean 8 cm instead of 8 inches right?

    1. Wow, I'm from Greenville Michigan too. Is this the recipe they had in the bakery. I have been looking and looking for this! I thought it look similar. Anyway fancy meeting someone from my hometown way over here on this very cool, site!

  10. Hi, I made the cookies today using a ring from a wide mouth jar lid. Mine, as a previous poster mentioned, came out crunchy. Any advice so they come out more moist? Also, have you ever heard of a Dutch cookie called Rondos? They were also a favorite of mine from the now closed Greenville, MI bakery called Johannes.

  11. Anonymous, thank for stopping by! Yes, I did mean 8cm so will change that in the text, very perceptive of you! As for the crunch on the cookies, you may want to bake them for a shorter time. The recipe states 30 minutes, but I've found that usually 18-20 is plenty, but it depends a little bit on your altitude. I'm baking another batch tonight and I'm trying a slightly different formula, will keep you posted on whether it creates less crunch.
    Yumm, Rondos are so good! They're on the "to bake" list so will post sometime next year. Happy baking!

  12. Thanks for getting back to me so soon. I will try again baking for a shorter time, but will wait to see the results of your new formula. I was thinking of substituting some of the regular flour with almond flour. My package of almond flour says it bakes up with a moist texture and rich, buttery flavor. Any thoughts on this?

  13. Kathy, I baked for 22 minutes at 350F and instead of adding cold water to the dough I mixed in an egg. The cookie is more tender but tastes just as good. I'm baking another batch tomorrow to make sure I get the same results but so far I'm happy. As for the almond flour, go for it, sounds like a great idea, and keep me posted!

  14. Hi Nicole, I tried the recipe with 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of almond flour and 1 egg. The cookies turned out too soft for what I'm looking for. Next time I'll try just the water to egg swtich and reduced cooking time to see if that is more like what I remember. I'll wait a little bit to try this, as Christmas baking and the great cookie experiment are taking their toll on my waistline.

  15. Hi Nicole, I love you website and facebook page. I'm baking bonket today and since I'm working with almond paste was wondering if you'd had a chance to look into the Rondos recipe. We exchanged comments on it about a year ago. Thanks! Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy!
      My rondo rings are on order, and as soon as they get here I'm going to get to baking! Hope you've had a good year, can't believe how time flies....Happy baking!

    2. Hi Nicole, I can't find any Rondos write-up on your site (2015), so I'm wondering if you ever did try them...

  16. Hi Nicole, Thanks for your reply. I agree agree this year flew by. Where did you find rondo rings to order? I'd love to order some also. I've looked for them on the internt without success.

  17. Hi Nicole,

    I am looking for a recipe for amandel taart, and ended up at this blog entry. I am planning to use straight amandel spijs for the filling (Do you think this will work?), but I am not sure about the recipe for a crust. Should I use this gevulde koek dough, or do you have a better idea. Hartelijk bedankt ��.

  18. Gevulde koeken are the number one thing I miss not being able to buy in the UK (we lived in Twente for 3 happy years) I can't wait to try the recipe - thanks for posting

  19. Hi Nicole,

    I was born in Holland but I live in France since the age of 10. I still visit my family in the netherlands as often as possible. And although I definitely feel french,I do enjoy dutch cooking! That's why I really apreciate what you're writing! So thank you for that.
    Anyway, when I try to make something you've posted I struggle a bit with the amounts you give. For example: a stick of butter in the gevulde koeken recipe. Could you give me the equivalent in gr please? Alvast bedankt voor je antwoord!

  20. Thank you!! I have missed these!!! Can't wait to make them!

  21. Hallo Nicole! I found your website through Pinterest. I was searching for Dutch desserts to make for this Sunday's fellowship time after Church. We have a rich Dutch history in our church, & we will be celebrating it's heritage & the Reformation, all on one day! I've decided to make these!

    I absolutely LOVE your site! I am mostly German (3/4, with 1/4 Irish & a 1/4 Mexican, so my kids get a lot of cultural diversity in their food!) & my husband is German, Norwegian & a little bit of Danish (or Dutch....I can't remember!), so we absolutely CRAVE authentic, traditional recipes from "the homeland"!

    It's also great that you & I both live in the same state! I'm up here near Grangeville in central Idaho! If you're ever in our part of the state, I welcome you to stop by & enjoy some amandelbroodjes met koffie! Een fihne dag verder!

  22. I just made these. Oh. My. Goodness. Absolutely one of my favs now! Your recipe was right-on!

  23. I like "gevulde koeken", but I use the almond spice used for gevulde speculaas. It shouldn't be like the kind of marzipan style used here, it becomes a little bit crumbly inside with the almond spice mixed with a little bit of lemon rasp and egg. Try it out.

  24. I have a gluten-free friend. If I was to make these with almond flour instead, would I need to add xanthan gum? If so, how much?

  25. I was visiting Holand for the first time last weekend and I loved it! Amsterdam is a very beautifull city! And all the sweets as gevulde-koeken, stroopwafels, speculaas, waffles are amazing. I also loved the cheese and my children became big fans of the fruit hail and chocolate hail. I had to bring with me a few gouda cheeses and a package of each flavour of hail :) Thank you so much for this recipe, I was just finishing one that I brought from the Albert Heijn, they're amazing! Your blog is so so good.
    Thanks a lot.

    1. We're glad you had a great time in Holland, and that you and the children enjoyed our specialty foods! We look forward to seeing your homebaked gevulde koeken!


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