Dutch Almond Paste Letters

    1 hour 15 min

    These Christmas treats are also known as banket letters. A wonderful almond paste is encased in a buttery flaky pastry. They are traditionally made into the letters M and S only, but feel free to shape them however you want. Enjoy sliced with a cup of tea or coffee.

    21 people made this

    Makes: 12 letters

    • 250g plain flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 225g butter, chilled
    • 75ml ice water
    • 225g almond paste
    • 1 egg
    • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 65g caster sugar for decoration

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Extra time:30min chilling  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut in chilled butter until the mixture has lumps the size of peas.
    2. Add ice water gradually while stirring with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix together the almond paste and sugar. Add the egg and mix well.
    4. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
    5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3 to 5mm to thickness, making it as square as possible. Cut the dough into strips 15cm long and 3.75cm wide (about the width of a ruler).
    6. Using a piping bag or a strong plastic bag with a small hole cut from the corner, pipe almond filling down the centre of the strip starting halfway down. Fold the top half of the strip down over the almond filling to match the bottom.
    7. Shape strips into desired letters, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

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    Reviews in English (22)


    This is a great recipe, I got a tip from a baker in my area, who refuses to give out thier recipe, to section the dough in balls and dip each ball lightly in a small bowl of water then pat it down, and definitely use lots of filling, Also I only baked about 12 minutes unitl edges turned golden. It did work and I didn't have to lightly flour or use a rolling pin, both of which I'm not fond of. Thanks for sharing this recipe,  -  20 Mar 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    These were wonderful and super easy to make with a simple substitution! I did not make the dough for these, I used pre-made puff pastry sheets instead and everyone raved over them and have requested them often.  -  10 Dec 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Dutch Letter Cookies??? My husband request these as he spent time out in Pella, Iowa freqently before we were married and discovered them in the Jaarsma Bakery on the square. I, however, had never heard of them so I found this recipe. He LOVED this recipe and said it was almost identical to the cookies he found in Pella. I found them easy to make; however, the only suggestion I would make is to make sure the almond paste/sugar/egg mixture is mixed very well and all the lumps are gone. Otherwise, you have trouble piping the mixture out onto the dough - very annoying.  -  01 Jan 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)