A sweet Christmas tradition in our family, as well as many Dutch families, is baking banket. Banket is a puff pastry-like dough filled with an almond paste mixture. It is made in the shape of a log, 12 to 14 inches in length and 11/2 to 3 inches in diameter.
My mother used to bake and give away many plates of cookies and pastries before Christmas and banket was always included. I can remember a 7 pound can of almond paste in the back of our refrigerator year-round. I buy several pounds of it at the Dutch store in Grand Rapids when I visit during the summer my niece always plans a “banket-baking day” with my mother and me during her Christmas visits from Phoenix so she will be able to carry on the family tradition.
1 lb cold butter
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
Mix together (like making pie crust)
Mix in 7/8 cup cold water
1 lb almond paste
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
Mix eggs and sugar together
Break almond paste in small pieces and slowly add to sugar/egg mixture (beater on slow) until well blended.
Chill pastry and filling.
Roll pastry into 6 or 7 strips, 5X14 inches, fill lengthwise and roll up loosely.
Place on cookie sheet, seam down, make sure ends are sealed.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425 for 20-23 minutes, until lightly browned.
Can be frozen before or after baking.
~ Lyn Swart
O Lord, we thank You that You had a plan to welcome gentiles and to bring about the obedience of faith. We marvel at Your wisdom, give thanks for Your grace, and join our voices with the saints in unending praise. Amen.