Saturday, June 21, 2008

Banketstaaf, or How a Mexican Fiesta Led to Dutch Pastry

this post is for My Friend Judith from High School.  or, more correctly, My Friend Judith from High School's Mom.  you see, judith's family came from the netherlands, and her mom for christmas one year made these amazing dutch pastries called banketstaaf.  believe me when i tell you that they were amazing.  cause they were.  and i always remembered them, even though i'd never heard of them before or since.

well, fast forward to this year when i was making horchata (this cinnamony rice beverage) for Cinco de Mayo.  don't worry, this will all make sense eventually.  anyway, to make horchata, at least with the recipe i found, you need a ton of blanched almonds which were pulverized and strained through liquid to make a milky milk-like substance, which you then transformed into the horchata.  i know, i didn't get the almond-in-the-rice-beverage either.  (as an aside, i found out after the fact that you can purchase horchata in the store, and it's really pretty cheap.  so, needless to say, i don't know if the whole pulverize-almonds-and-strain-them-by-hand thing is gonna happen again.)

but, even so, i had all this almond meal left over, and it seemed very lame to just throw it away.  and if you knew my mom, you would know the evil that befalls anyone who throws away "perfectly good food."  lets don't get started on the broccoli stalks.

anyway, so i threw it in the freezer, thinking i would use it sometime.  and then, i remembered the banketstaaf.  and i looked around and found this recipe to make it.  however, it didn't call for almond meal, but almond paste.  which apparently, costs your firstborn child if you purchase the quantity called for in the recipe (1 lb).  but, fortunately for me i had 3 cups of almond meal in the freezer, so i used this recipe to transform it into almond paste, and voila!  banketstaaf.

where the mexican fiesta comes in again, making a full circle of multicultural delight, is that the almond meal, having been used to make the aforementioned almond-rice-beverage, was flavored with cinnamon and lime when i used it the first time around.  so instead of your run of the mill almond flavor, it was bursting with fiesta goodness.

all this to say, it really was quite tasty.  and, thanks, judith's mom.


Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud when I read about 'throwing away perfectly good food' :):)
You are SO creative in the kitchen - just like your Dad! :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, been lax in checking your blog. I appreciate the reference. As for additional things you can do with almond meal...check Passover recipes (my son's birthday is often during Passover and I can make anything with almond meal!)