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Pastries and pies are not my thing- definitely, I am no cookie monster. I easily prefer hearty small fast food, canapes or sandwiches.
Anyway, I think it is important in a blog about all things Dutch to bring here something about sweet delicacies. The Dutch patisseire is very vast - therefore impossible to cover this topic in one or two posts. Although the strong French influence, there are also MANY typical Dutch creations. In another post I can talk about Dutch pies and desserts. Here I give you some examples of everyday cookies and pastries:
SPECULAAS: a thin and crunchy biscuit, its main ingredients are brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamon and white pepper). It can have the shape of a windmill, a doll, a tower, or an animal. There is the version for kids called speculoos, also very nice. Speculaas is great with coffe or tea. Highly addictive according to this gentleman.
TOMPOUCE: the ones found at any filial from HEMA department store are the most popular. A tompouce basically consists of two layers of mille-feuille with a vanille chantilly cream in between. It is topped by a pink icing - that can be orange during and after the Queen's Day festivities. Very difficult to eat tompouces: you bite the hard rectangle and the soft filling goes out into the sides - very irritating. Because of that, I have made a fool of myself a couple of times. Read more here. I have already published a pic with mini tompouces (made of marzipan) here.
GEVULDE KOEK: It is a large round pastry - 10cm diameter - stuffed with a mix of sugar and almonds. It can be flat but also a small high cake (rondo) or flat and long (called then kano). More pics here. Always decorated with a half almond. I do not know why but for me gevulde koeken are only for winter/Christmas time... Note: “koek” means “sweet pastry, or cake”. The short form “koekje” originated the word in English... “cookie” !
BOSSCHE BOL: a very large profiterole (12cm diameter) stuffed with cream and dipped in pure chocolate. Almost impossible to be eaten with the fingers. When ordered in a cafe you will have it on a plate, accompannied by fork and knife, thanks. City of origin: Den Bosch. It is difficult to be found in the rest of the country - but no impossible. You should definitely give it a try.
STROOPWAFELS: Originary from Gouda, consists of two layers of baked batter with a caramel-like filling. They can be big enough to cover your cup of tea, or very small - like coins. I personally like to pop them for some seconds in the microwave and enjoy my stroopwafels with coffee. Suzanne loves it too ! Fact: kids & adults love them, foreigners & cloggies love them. Extremely easy to be found in supermarkets in all the Netherlands.
To be continued...