For a change of pace, I’m adding family recipes to the blog! This one is courtesy of my sister who makes it for every family party — thank you Lori, and big super huge Happy Birthday to you as well!! Both of our grandmothers made it and it is very labor intensive (which is why I’ve never even attempted it).
Banket is a Dutch almond pastry, which originated in the Netherlands. It was traditionally eaten on December 5 for Saint Nicholas Day and called Banketstaaf or Letterbanket.
According to Wikipedia, Banket was introduced in the United States by Dutch immigrants in Pella, Iowa, Orange City, Iowa, and Holland, Michigan. Well obviously someone also brought it to Roseland. It is typically prepared using a mixture of flour, eggs, and butter or puff pastry as its base, then filled with almond paste and dusted with sugar. Marzipan is sometimes used as the filling. Usually it is rolled and folded into a log a foot or two long, baked, then cut into short lengths for serving. For the Letterbanket version, it is rolled and shaped into a letter.
BANKET (Dutch Almond Pastry)
This recipe should have both mixtures refrigerated overnight.
Part I – Dough
1/2 pound butter
1/2 pound margarine
4 cups flour
1 cup cold water
— Cut butter and margarine in small pieces, blend with flour.
— Add cold water and mix into a dough ball. Refrigerate overnight.
Part II – Filling
1 pound almond paste (do not use almond pie filling)
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 Holland Rusk biscuits (you can find at Jewel Food Store)
— Crumble almond paste and Rusk biscuits.
— Add the remaining ingredients.
— Mix well. Refrigerate overnight.
Part III – Next Day
— Divide dough and filling into 8 sections. Keep cold, take a section at a time.
— Sprinkle flour and roll out dough into a thin rectangle. About 4 inches by 10 inches.
— In hands, roll filling roughly 1 inch by 10 inches, placing in center of rectangle.
— Roll the dough from wide end, making a log, seal seam and ends.
— Brush top of each log with egg white or yolk.
— Use fork to prick holes every inch or so.
— Place on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
— Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, making sure it does not get too golden brown.