Have you ever had Boterkoek?

My mom did a lot of baking when we were younger. Every Friday she would haul out the baking pans and ingredients and start baking. What she made would be our snacks for the week. Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, raisin squares (which I never liked but for some reason she did - we did have a raisin discussion not too long ago) and my personal favourite, Boterkoek. It's Dutch for butter cake which was a misnomer on so many levels.

One was it wasn't really a cake, more like a square but she made it in a pie plate so it was a wedge, I guess. And two, my mother was a thrifty Dutch woman who used Parkay margarine instead of butter. But Boterkoek sounds better than Margarine Wedges. At least I think so.

My parents were immigrants from the Netherlands and when they moved to Canada, they quickly found other Dutch friends and hung out together. And most of them baked boterkoek. And though the recipe was mostly the same, I got to hear from my mother how this woman's boterkoek was adequate. This one's was so-so. The only woman who came close to making her boterkoek taste as good as my mothers was Mrs. Holzmann. (sorry, not sure of the spelling - we never wrote each other's names out just knew them) I used to have Mrs. Holzmann's boterkoek when I would go visit my friend, Margaret, after church on Sunday. And I had to agree. It was as good a my mom's.

My dear mother lives in a home now for elderly residents and can't cook or bake anymore. And while she is thankful for the food she gets served, she still loves her snacks. And she especially loves her Dutch snacks.

So when I visit her now, I bring her some fresh-baked boterkoek. The first time I made it I followed her basic recipe. I used Parkay Margarine. She told me it was delicious. Then gave me the ultimate compliment. It was just like hers. A few days later I had a couple of friends over for the day. I was feeling nostalgic and thought I would bake boterkoek. I stepped it up a notch and used half margarine, half butter. I doubled the batch and brought one to my mother. According to her, this tasted even better than the last batch.

She freezes it and parcels out whenever she needs her morning coffee and something to eat with it. My mother always has been a champion snacker.

An interesting side story to this boterkoek post. Many years back, my son was working in a small town in British Columbia, about a 700 kilometer drive away from where we live. One Sunday he went to a potluck lunch after church, put on in a nearby town, Sparwood. He was perusing the snack table and he saw something familiar. He picked it up, took a bite and yes, boterkoek!!! Still holding the snack, he walked around the gathering, quizzing people as to who made this! And then he found her, Joanne Holzmann. Daughter of the only woman whose boterkoek was as good as my mother's. They started talking and made their Dutch Bingo connections. (put ten Dutch people together in a room and eventually there is some connection) It was a funny story that my mother reminded me of the other Sunday when I visited her and brought her boterkoek.

And, if you are interested in making some yourself, I'll post the recipe. It's as plain as plain can be, but it's got lots of sugar which is a critical ingredient in any Dutch baking!

What about you? What's your favourite snack from when you were younger?

Boterkoek - Just Like Mom's

1/4 lb margarine (doesn't have to be Parkay <g>) 1/4 lb butter 1 cup sugar 1 beaten egg (save some for top) 1 tsp almond extract

Blend the above until creamy add: 2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Mix the above in with your hands. Spread in a pie plate, smooth the rest of the beaten egg on top (this helps smooth any cracks in the boterkoek) If you want to get really fancy you can spread some slivered almonds on top.

Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees until golden brown. Cut into wedges and enjoy with coffee.

If you want to get really fancy you can use all butter.

Hope you enjoy the boterkoek! Take care and happy snacking.

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