These "S"-shaped super flaky butter pastries filled with almond paste and topped with crunchy sugar are popular in both Iowa and Holland during the Christmas season. Here's a recipe that will let you make and enjoy them all year round. —Shirley De Lange, Byron Center, Michigan
- 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cold butter
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons water
- In a large bowl, beat the almond paste, sugar, egg and extract until smooth. Divide into four portions. On lightly floured waxed paper, roll each portion into a 12-in. x 1/2-in. rope; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide into four portions.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion into a 14-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Place one almond paste rope in the center of each rectangle. Moisten long edges of dough; fold over filling. Press seam to seal; tuck in ends.
- Transfer seam side down to greased baking sheets; form each into an S-shape. Whisk egg white and water; brush over dough. Using a fork, prick tops at 1-in. intervals to vent.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. To serve, cut into 2-in. pieces. Yield: 28 pastries.
Originally published as Dutch Letters in Taste of Home December/January 2012, p103
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