Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Going Dutch

When you live in a household of nine healthy eaters, you are baking all. the. time. Muffins and cookies are the most commonly made things baked in our home, followed by cakes, loaves, crisps, or cobblers, in no particular order. The other day, I wanted to make something I usually only make at Christmas. It's called Tai-tai. Literally translated: Tough-tough. This recipe belongs to my paternal oma (grandma). She made it for us every Christmas. I remember one Christmas, my brother and I each got our very own pan. We were so thrilled!

It is by no means a healthy recipe, but when you make it only about once a year, you can ignore that fact. :o)

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2-2 tsp anise (whole or ground, or mixed)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup, honey, and water to a boil. Let cool.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Once syrup mixture is cooled, gradually add it to dry and stir well. Pour into greased pan and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until centre springs back when touched.

As you can tell by the two pans, I doubled the recipe. It has almost become a habit. If I'm going to bake I might as well make it worth my while and double what I make. It only takes a little more time and saves time in the long run.

Next up was something I had wanted to try for awhile. A lady at my Bible study is a super talented baker. Her daughter and I are the same age and went to grade school together. I remember going to her house for a birthday party one year and having -- oh dear, I can't remember what they are called, but they are sooo good. They are apple rings covered in a pancake type batter and cooked in this special gadget. Delicious! (Appelflappen! I remembered!)

She makes these lovely almond speculaas cookies that I adore. I decided to try them on my own. Hers are much prettier than mine. She has a special cutter that gives them a pretty wavy edge. I just used my biscuit cutter. However, the Engineer says they taste really good and taste is the most important thing, right?

My little helper. Actually he was hoping some would fall. He knows I'm pretty predictable when it comes to food at the counters. Guaranteed I will drop something -- even if it's occasionally accidentally on purpose. :o)

Cutting them into rounds.

It's kind of backward photo but from bottom left and working clockwise, the rounds, almond paste balls placed on top, and then another round place on top and formed around the almond paste.

Brushed with almond milk. I think egg white would give them more of a shine, but I thought of that later.

All baked. Yum!

In case you were wondering about the almond paste, you can buy it in a can. Pure sugar and almonds. My oma used to make her own. My dad remembers her blanching the almonds for peeling. Some day I will try that, but for now, canned almond paste works well for me.

I used a speculaas recipe from Taste of Home to make the cookies. This recipe worked quite well for rolling and you could make it quite thin, so I will definitely use it again!

Happy baking!



  1. Your recipes look wonderful. I have never tried either one of them. Are they German recipes? I look forward to trying them. I love the idea of buying Almond paste in a can. I will have to look for it that way next time I go to the grocery store. Love your little dog. Our dog is just like that he spends his whole life waiting for something to drop his way. Have a great day.

  2. Delicious! I'd love one of those cookies about now.

  3. I grew up with both of those kinds of cookies too :) love that you made them!


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