Amazing Desserts from Around the World, Part III

And the final amazing dessert before the holidays… Almond Banket. Growing up in a neighborhood referred to (lovingly, I’m sure) as Hollander Heights, I had my fair share of potatoes at my grandmother’s house just two doors down from ours. Butter and salt- what could be better? Let me tell you, very few things. Except for Almond Banket. Every year, at Christmas time, our neighbors from across the street brought over homemade banket. It was delicious. When my husband and I moved into our first home, our neighbor two doors down mentioned her tradition of making almond banket at Christmastime. It’s been on my mind ever since.

My aunt emailed me the following recipe from her Eet Smakelijk cookbook, called “the Official Cookbook of Holland, Michigan,” which she has had since 1964! In case you all have this cookbook lying around, the recipe is officially called Banket Staven (Almond Roll).


1 lb. almond paste
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 cups flour
1 pound butter

1 cup water

Let the paste, sugar and eggs stand in a bowl for 30 minutes.  Blend the flour, butter, and water in bowl like a pie crust.  The dough may be refrigerated overnight if desired.  When ready to prepare, divide the dough into 4 equal parts.  Roll the dough on a floured board to size 8×13 inches.  Cut lengthwise into 2 equal strips (8 strips….4×13 in all).  Prepare the filling by mixing the almond paste with the sugar and eggs.  Form the filling into 8 cylinders 12 inches long, the diameter of a dime.  Place filling rolls on the length of the dough.  Fold over the ends, and then the long sides, moistening 1 side to seal, before pressing closed.  Place with the seam down on a cookie sheet.  Brush the top of the rolls with either egg white or milk.  Bake in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Prick holes on top for air and return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until very light brown.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really measure any of the strips, etc. and my measuring cup was in the dishwasher, so I just grabbed an 8 oz drinking glass and I didn’t make cylinders (just put the filling directly onto the dough and eyeballed it) and I sprinkled the tops with sugar and I had the 3-year old “helping”… and it still turned out absolutely amazing. Being half Dutch, I know that I am biased, but this is a dessert you will want to try.

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