Dutch Almond Paste Letters

About this recipe: 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.

Claudia

Ingredients

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

Method

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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