Dutch Letters

This traditional Dutch pastry is made of flaky, buttery dough packed with almond filling. We'll take the whole alphabet, please.

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  • Makes: 20 Dutch letters
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Bake: 20 mins 375°F
  • Chill: 40 mins

Dutch Letters

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut cold butter into 1/2-inch-thick slices (not cubes). Add butter slices to flour mixture and toss until slices are coated and are separated.
  2. In a small mixing bowl stir together egg and ice water. Add all at once to flour mixture. Using a spoon, quickly mix (butter will remain in large pieces and flour will not be completely moistened).
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured pastry cloth. Knead the dough 10 times by pressing and pushing dough together to form a rough-looking ball, lifting pastry cloth if necessary to press the dough together. Shape the dough into a rectangle (dough still will have some dry-looking areas). Make corners as square as possible. Slightly flatten dough. Working on a well-floured pastry cloth, roll dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Fold 2 short sides to meet in center; fold in half like a book to form 4 layers each measuring 7-1/2x5 inches.
  4. Repeat the rolling and folding process once more. Wrap dough with plastic wrap. Chill dough for 20 minutes in refrigerator. Repeat rolling and folding process 2 more times. Chill dough for 20 minutes before using.
  5. For filling, in a bowl stir together egg white, almond paste, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar. Set aside.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut dough crosswise into 4 equal parts. Wrap 3 portions in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator. On a well-floured surface, roll 1 portion into a 12-1/2x10-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle into five 10x2-1/2-inch strips.
  7. Shape a slightly rounded tablespoon of filling into a 9-inch rope and place it down the center third of one strip. Roll up the strip lengthwise. Brush edge and ends with water; pinch to seal. Place, seam side down, on an ungreased baking sheet, shaping strip into a letter (traditionally the letter S). Brush with water and sprinkle with additional granulated sugar. Repeat with remaining dough strips and filling. Repeat with remaining 3 dough portions and filling. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet; cool on racks. Makes 20 Dutch letters.

From the Test Kitchen

*Note:

For best results, use an almond paste made without syrup or liquid glucose.

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Nutrition Facts (Dutch Letters)

  • Per serving:
  • 362 kcal cal.,
  • 23 g fat
  • (5 g sat. fat,
  • 35 mg chol.,
  • 285 mg sodium,
  • 36 g carb.,
  • 1 g fiber,
  • 5 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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