Say Cheese: Mom’s Kaastengels Recipe

Snow comes early to Albany this year. It started a couple of days ago, and today on this Halloween weekend the snow is again falling heavily.  For me, snow means Christmas is coming and that it’s almost time to be baking cookies!

In my hometown Manado, there are kinds of cookies that people love to have to celebrate the festive season. A lot of the popular cookies are influenced by Dutch, such as the kaastengels (cheese cookies), speculaas (cinnamon cookies), and Jan Hagel (another cinnamon-like cookies).

Today, I’m going to share the recipe of my favorite cookies, the kaastengels! It’s special not only because of  its delicious taste and crunchy texture, but also because of all the happy childhood memories associated with it. I got this recipe from my mom, and I’ve included her baking tips as well. I made some adjustment on the ingredients based on what I can find here in Albany. Happy baking!

Kaastangels / Cheese Cookies

Crunchy Cheese Cookies

Ingredients:
2 x 453 grams margarine
2 x 453 grams sharp cheddar cheese, grated
7 egg yolks
1 eggs (for glaze)
4 tablespoons of preserved Dutch butter (I can’t find Wijsman butter in the U.S. supermarket, so I substitute it with salted butter)
Flour, as needed
Optional:
1 cup of confectioners sugar (I skipped it, I like my kaastengels salty!)
2 tablespoons of milk powder
4 teaspoon of vanilli powder

Directions:

  1. In low speed mixer, beat margarine, butter and all the optional ingredients. Add egg yolks one by one. Mix for about 10 minutes (or until the margarine turns a bit white)
  2. Fold in the cheese. Remember to set aside enough cheese to be used later as decoration.
  3. Mix in flour to make the cookie dough. Tip 1 :Instead of mixing the whole mix with flour, get a portion of the mix and combine it with flour little by little. This will prevent the dough from becoming too hard. Combine it by hand. Tip 2: you will know when the consistency of the dough is good for baking when it is soft but no longer sticky.
  4. Roll the dough and cut it in any size you want. Place it on the tray (grease the tray beforehand).
  5. To glaze the cookies, beat an egg and then brush it on top of the cookies. Add a pinch of grated cheese on top of the cookies.
  6. Bake in preheated oven on 180 C (350 F) for about 25 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.

Enjoy!

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