Growing up in West Michigan in a family that is very proud of their Dutch heritage means that I grew up eating my fair share of Dutch goodies; boterkoek, Jan Hagels, oliebollen and windmill cookies to name a few. They're all delicious, but in my opinion there is nothing better than a stick of homemade banket, especially during the holidays. I've shared a banket recipe on the site before which was very good, but I was never completely satisfied with it, especially with the filling. I don't like my banket filling to be too dry, and while the previous recipe was delicious, the filling was just too dry for my taste, I wanted something else.
This Christmas I decided to go on a search to see if I could find the banket recipe I've been hoping for. There are not the many banket recipes out there, so it took a bit of searching, but I finally came up with a recipe from The Lilypad Cottage that looked like it could be the one. It came together pretty easily so I was very hopeful when I put the first batch into the oven. I have to say, they turned out just about perfectly. Exactly what I was hoping for. A light, and flaky buttery crust wrapped around the perfect almond paste filling. I think I found it!
This recipe is a two day affair, or a long one day affair. The dough and filling need to chill up pretty firm before you use them. Another thing I love about banket is that it is so easy to freeze. I just shape it up and pop the unbaked rolls into the freezer for a few hours. Then I wrap them in plastic and keep in a bag in the freezer until I need them. You don't even have to thaw before baking. Just unwrap, place on a cookie sheet and bake from frozen. They might take a few extra minutes from frozen but other than that you can't even tell. Super easy!
Adapted from The Lily Pad Cottage
- 4 cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pound cold butter, cut into small pieces
- scant 1 cup cold water
- 1 pound of almond paste
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 Egg yolks
For the dough, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the pieces of cold butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (you can also use two forks or even your fingers, but work fast, you don't want the butter to get too warm) until the butter is about pea sized. Make a well in the middle and add cold water, mix until a shaggy dough is formed, don’t over mix. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
For the filling, break up almond paste in a bowl. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day cut divide both the dough and the filling into 8 equal portions, use a scale if you have it.
Take one piece of dough and roll out into a long, thin rectangle, approximately 13x4 inches. Place one piece of filling on the rolled out dough, spreading it along the length of dough, a little closer to one side, forming an even line. Roll up the long way, folding the ends under. Pinch together slightly so the filling doesn’t ooze out.
Dock the rolls with a fork, brush with egg yolks.
At this point you can stick the pans in your freezer until the Banket is frozen hard. Then you can wrap them up and bake off as needed.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (I do about 30 minutes when baking from frozen) until golden brown. Let cool before slicing into 1-2 inch pieces, enjoy!