Boterkoek

Or, The Dutch Find it Perfectly Acceptable to Eat Something Called ‘Butter Cake’.

And it really is ‘butter cake’: it’s basically a tart base, but two times as thick as your average tart, and accompanied by almond flavoring – a Dutch favorite. Quite decadent, but it’s meant to be served in little wedges. Unless no one is looking…

My heritage is Dutch, but my grandparents immigrated to Canada in the early fifties, so I don’t know much dutch other than swear words and names for desserts. What more do you need? This was one we requested most often growing up. A little bit of crunch on the outside, a lot of buttery-soft underneath.

Boterkoek: (from all recipes: there’s not much to it)

1 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs (1 tablespoon reserved for glazing)

1 tablespoon almond extract (real is best)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

almonds for decorating: halves, slices – whatever you think looks nice

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease two 8 inch pie dishes. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs (remember to reserve a tablespoon) and almond extract and beat until smooth. Combine the flour and baking powder, and then add to butter mixture. When the dough begins to form a ball, press it into the prepared pans. Brush tops with reserved egg, and scatter almonds as desired. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Watch that you don’t over-bake the cake, as it will lose the dense softness as it dries out.

Boterkoek tastes best if you wrap it and place it in the fridge, and eat the second day. Although it is very hard to resist when fresh out of the oven.

(Bonus points if you find the secret message hidden in the cake)

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