Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sinterklaasje kom maar binnen met je knecht. Want we zitten allemaal even recht. Misschien heeft U nog even tijd voordat U weer naar Spanje rijdt. 

It is one of the most popular children song in Netherlands. When December comes, basically I can hear many songs like this everywhere. Yes!! We celebrate St. Nicholas day on December 5th every year. Or it is more popular as Sinterklaas day. It is a pretty big occasion in Netherlands. Sinterklaas is pictured as an elderly man with white and long hair and beard who wears a red cloak, red cape and brings a bishop's staff. He comes from Spain with his assistants, zwarte piet (black pete), and he will carry a big bag full of candy and toys for nice children. Don't ask how that tradition began. Too many story and history behind this tradition.
Source :

Along with this celebration, there are a lot of traditional Dutch sweets and treats that can be enjoyed for this celebration. There are chocolate letters, kruidnoten (taste like gingerbread cookies but it has small round shape), pepernoten, taaitaai, and amandelstaaf.  I like amandelstaaf. It is a pastry dish filled with almondpaste and shaped like a sinterklaas' staff. Most of the store sell it for sinterklaas celebration and they are quite cheap. But this year I want to try to make it by myself instead of buy it from grocery store because it seems easy to make. So why don't I give it a try.

It turned out not bad at all. But it seems i need to seam it better because after baking, the almond paste a little bit melt out from the pastry. But it doesn't matter. The taste is still good and I'm still satisfied with the result. 

Ingredients :
  • 3 layers ready to use puff pastry (20x20 cm)
  • 250 grams almondpaste
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar
  • a little bit of flour
Tip : you can adjust the amount of powdered sugar depend on the sweetness and the stickiness of your almond paste.

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 200 C (392 F)
  2. Prepare a baking sheet and line it with a baking paper. Set aside.
  3. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl for egg wash. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, mix together almond paste, powdered sugar, and 1 egg until they are well combined. Set aside.
  5. Dust the worktop with a little bit of flour, stack 3 layers of puff pastry, and dust the pastry with more flour. 
  6. Roll them together until the pastry become wide and thin (approximately 45x20 cm) 
  7. Transfer the puff pastry on the baking sheet. 
  8. Place the almond paste mixture lengthwise on the top of the pastry. Place it on the right side.
  9. Brush the edge of the pastry with egg wash.
  10. Fold in the short end to the middle and fold in the rest of the pastry to cover the almond mixture and seam the edge. Make sure that the seam is on the bottom.
  11. Bend it carefully so you will get a staff shaped pastry.
  12. Brush the top with egg wash. 
  13. Place it into preheated oven and bake it for about 25 minutes or until the pastry become golden brown.
  14. Remove it from the oven and let it cool before cut it into pieces.

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