Dutch Letters

Total Time

Prep: 50 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling


28 pastry pieces

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
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 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • DOUGH:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold butter
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons water


  1. In a large bowl, beat the almond paste, sugar, egg and extract until smooth. Divide into 4 portions. On lightly floured waxed paper, roll each portion into a 12x1/2-in. rope; set aside.
  2. 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 4 portions.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion into a 14x6-in. rectangle. Place 1 almond paste rope in the center of each rectangle. Moisten long edges of dough; fold over filling. Press seam to seal; tuck in ends.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. To serve, cut into 2-in. pieces.

Nutrition Facts

1 pastry: 248 calories, 16g fat (9g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 182mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.