February sees us travel to the home of tulips, windmills and the tallest men! Yes, we are off to The Netherlands. So-called due to their low and relatively flat lands – 17% of the country is under sea level! On to the biscuits, let’s see what they had in store for us!
The stroopwafel is probably the most synonymous Dutch biscuit and versions can be found in most large UK supermarkets today. Originating from Gouda in the Netherlands, it dates to between the late 18th or early 19th century and as with many biscuits was a way to utilise leftovers from a bakery, such as breadcrumbs which would then be sweetened with syrup. They are now made in their own right by sandwiching syrup between two baked dough layers
Included in your box this month is a waffle warmer. The traditional way to eat the stroopwafel is to place it atop of a drinking vessel with a hot beverage inside. The heat from the rising steam warms the waffle and slightly softens the inside and makes the waffle soft on one side while still crispy on the other.
Despite their apparent simplicity, stroopwafels featured as a technical challenge on the 2017 edition of The Great British Bake Off. Many of the contestants failed to make them and is regarded as the hardest technical challenge of the show.
Glucose-fructose syrup, wheat flour, sugar, palm fat, butter (milk), sugar syrup, soya flour, rapeseed oil, salt, dextrin (wheat), emulsifier (soya lecithin, E471), raising agent (E500), cinnamon, acidulant (citric acid), Bourbon vanilla.
Kandijkoeken are a gingerbread flavoured biscuit with a high sugar content giving them that caramelised flavour much like speculoos. This biscuit started out as a gingerbread cake that would be adorned with crystal sugar beads on top. As for its history, little is known, but due to the high price of sugar it is thought that these would have been reserved for the wealthy. The Netherlands also shares close ties with Indonesia, it was formally a Dutch colony and colonial trade between the nations was high. This started the spice trade of which sugar would have been a main commodity traded.
wheat flour, sugar, palm fat, caramelised sugar, glucose syrup, free-range egg powder, caramelized sugar syrup, cinnamon, natural flavours, leavening agent (sodium carbonate [E500]), salt, emulsifier (lecithin [E322]).
Contains: wheat, gluten-containing grains, eggs. May contain: milk, barley, oats, spelled, lactose, rye, almond, hazelnut, nuts.
The word Zaan refers to a river and the region around it whilst a ‘huisje’ is the diminutive form of house These delicious biscuits are covered with a thick layer of white chocolate on one side. The chocolate has a seal with a Zaans House on it – typical house front of houses in the Dutch city of Zaandam which is famous for its many (some still working!) wind-mills.
In 1871 the French painter Claude Monet spent four months in Zaandam where he painted the Zaans homes a now famous shade of green.
sugar, wheat flour, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, skimmed milk powder, 3.5% butter , vegetarian whey powder, butter concentrate, glucose syrup, lactose , salt, whole milk powder, natural vanilla flavour, natural vanilla flavour with other natural flavours, free-range powder, acid (citric acid [E330]), leavening agent (diphosphates [E450], sodium carbonates [E500]), emulsifier (lecithin [E322] (soya) ).
AVIATEUR GEVULDE KANO
These literally translate as “Stuffed Canoes” and are a baked version of a popular cake which features a sweet almond filling. Instead, these are two slices of butter dough with which almond paste is sprayed. These are then baked which allows them to harden, into more of a biscuit, and allow the almond to traverse the layers of dough.
These are the highest sold product amongst petrol and service stations as a quick on the go snack.
Sugar, wheat flour , soybeans , vegetable oils (palm, rapeseed, coconut), modified potato starch, dextrose, 1.1% almond , stabilizer: sorbitol, thickener: guar gum, pectin, apricot kernels, invert sugar, glucose syrup, salt, emulsifier: soya lecithin , leavening agent : E450, E500, milk protein , flavour (contains milk protein /lactose), lactose , food acid: citric acid
VERKADE NIZZA KOKOS
This Dutch version of the Nice biscuit was introduced in 1910 and has gone on to have many different flavour combinations such as cinnamon, caramel with sea salt and in this occasion coconut. The brand is one of oldest existing family businesses in the Netherlands forming back in 1886. In the company’s early days, they hired mainly young women who, in their uniform, became known as the Verkade girls. Due to this, in 1961 the company was one of the first Dutch companies to implement a creche facility on site.
However, pre-WW2 the women would typically loose their jobs in the factory upon reaching the age of 30 as they were then deemed too old and would likely want to leave and start a family. This was a continued practice until the after the war when labour numbers became a problem. This started a huge recruitment campaign and featured slogans such as “Girls, come and work at Verkade – and bring your mothers too!”
The Verkade girls are now a thing of the past although the company does employ a singing quartet who will dress in period clothing and sing at national events. Despite its somewhat sexist past, former employees often look back at their time here with great fondness.
Wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil (palm), coconut 2%, dextrose, leavening agents (sodium carbonates, disodium diphosphate), salt, flavourings.
Dutch for the word flakes, these chocolate pieces are a common breakfast item in Holland and eaten as a sandwich topping. However they date back to a time when versions of these would be eaten on top of biscuits in particular – rusks. The term “Beschuit met muisjes” translates as biscuits with little mice and would traditionally be eaten on the birth of a new-born baby. This symbolised a gift from the newborn baby and would be given to visitors of the bay. Versions exist today in pink and blue coloured flakes as well as orange, the colour of The Netherlands.
Sugar, skimmed cocoa, cocoa butter, skimmed MILK POWDER, LACTOSE, dextrose, fractionated MILK FAT (hard fraction), emulsifier (SOJALECITHINE), flavor.
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