My mother and most of her brothers and sisters were born in the Netherlands. Although I have never been, I feel a strong connection with my Dutch lineage.
My mother's family still speaks Dutch on a regular basis, and many of them are still in touch with relatives in the mother-country.
And of course, they still wear wooden shoes at home, much as you and I would wear a comfy pair of Crocs.
Though my Oma and Opa have long ago made their journey to heaven, I still have fond memories of visits to their farm. The sheep, ponies and schnauzer puppies kept us happy and busy until it was time to come inside for the yummiest of home-cooked meals.
And every meal, whether it was Dutch meatball soup or rabbit and mashed potatoes with onion gravy, ended with some kind of Dutch-style sweet treat.
Are you familiar with almond windmill cookies?
I still buy them for my kids --even though they call them "helicopter" cookies!
Now if Oma had time to bake before our arrival she would often have a batch of home-made almond cookies ready for us. My father ADORED them- I am sure she only baked them for him!!
These days, every so often, when I think of Oma and Opa, I get the need for homemade almond cookies.
And this is what I always make:
Boterkoek - Dutch Butter Cake
1 cup cold butter
2 cups flour
3/4 cups white sugar
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3. Remove one teaspoon of the beaten egg and set aside.
4. Pour the rest of the egg into the mixture, and stir well. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix until you have a smooth dough.
5. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie plate, and pat down with the back of a spoon until smooth (you might find it easier to use clean hands to smooth the mixture).
6. Mix the teaspoon of egg with a teaspoon of water, and brush on top of the boterkoek. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, and bake for 25-30 minutes until just golden and firm to the touch.
On this particular day, my 3 kids and I enjoyed our slices of boterkoek with some milky tea. It was absolutely scrumptious!!
I'd love to hear of you tried my recipe out in your own home. I promise - you won't be disappointed!!
Before I sign off, I wanted to show you a bouquet of flowers I put together for my mother-in-law. I was so proud to be able to say that EVERYTHING came out of my own garden - tulips, lilacs and crab-apple blossoms.
When we moved into this newly-built home 5 years ago, one of my main goals was to plant and keep a garden that would give me plenty of blossoms every year for "bouquet enjoyment."
Finally I am at that point.
I am SO looking forward to all the other flowers that bloom throughout the growing season and I am sure I will share them all here!
Hugs to you and yours!!