It’s been a very kitchen-y past few days for me. It all began last Wednesday with Almond Meltaway cookies.
I honestly don’t remember the last time I baked cookies. I’ve done plenty of other kinds of baking recently, but I don’t think I’ve made cookies since July or August. This ridiculously addictive beauties were well worth the wait, though.
I made the cookies for a 20s/30s small group I’m part of through my church, and though they went over quite well, my group members didn’t eat all of the cookies. Fortunately, I had book club the day after small group, so I pawned a bunch of them off on my fellow bloggers.
Cookies weren’t my only treat for book club, however. Because this month’s book took place in Michigan, we tried to bring Michigan themed food. Apples and Dutch culture are two things I associate with my Michigan upbringing, so I decided to tackle koffiekoek met appel, which is apple coffee cake for those of you who don’t speak Dutch. In my (extremely Dutch) family, we’ve been having Christmas brunch on the Sunday closest to Christmas for the past seven or eight years, and every year my mom always makes this coffee cake. Though my mom’s recipe is from the cookbook Let’s Go Dutch Again, you can also find the recipe here.
One of the things that makes this coffee cake particularly unique is its use of gouda, a Dutch cheese you may know by look and flavor, but probably don’t know by correct pronunciation.
“Gouda,” despite what popular culture and English may tell you, is not pronounced “GOO-duh.” In fact, I had never heard it pronounced “GOO-duh” until I was probably in eighth or ninth grade. In my family, and among anyone Dutch, it’s pronounced correctly: “HOW-duh.”
“But wait!” you say. “That doesn’t make any sense at all! There’s no ‘h’ in ‘gouda’!”
Well, friends, there’s no ‘y’ in ‘quesadilla,’ either, but I’d be willing to bet that you don’t often walk into Qdoba and order a “kway-suh-dill-uh,” now do you? Surprise! Just because a language uses the Latin alphabet doesn’t mean all the letters make the same sound in different languages! Dutch vowels, in particular, trip English-speakers up a lot, because Dutch vowel combinations tend to work different than English. Case in point: “oo.” In English, you’d pronounce that double vowel as a short “o” sound (think “boo,” or “moo.”). Not so in Dutch. To get that “oo” sound in Dutch, you combine o and e: “oe”. “Boer”, for example, is not (correctly) pronounced “bore,” but rather “booer.” (Though a lot of people do pronounced it “bore,” so I’ll let that one slide.). So! Now that we know how to get a short “o” sound in Dutch, let’s look at the spelling of “gouda,” shall we? Is it spelled “goeda”? Nope! Therefore, it’s not pronounced “goo-duh,” either. (There’s also the whole issue of a “g” making a throaty “h” sound, but I’m willing to take what I can get here in the pronunciation department). Howduh, people. How. Duh. How duh you pronounce “gouda”? How duh. There. Now you’ll never forget.
Anyway. Coffee cake. It’s the bomb dot com, if I do say so myself. I had never made it before, but I think I did a decent job of putting it together, and it reminded me of Christmas 🙂
Through a serious of highly unfortunate events on Sunday, I found myself with a lot more free time and a lot more emotions than I originally planned on having, and to deal with all of that I finally broke out my food processor for, let’s be honest, the entire reason I bought it: to make homemade peanut butter.
OMG. You guys. All right, for one thing, making homemade peanut butter could not be simpler. Step one: buy peanuts. Step two: place peanuts in food processor. Step three: turn food processor on. Step four: let food processor run for 5ish minutes. That’s it. SO. EASY. Now, I will admit that my peanut butter is slightly saltier than I’m used to, but talk about a small price to pay for having homemade peanut butter! Especially when you can do magical things like toss chocolate chips in for the last minute and make…
…chocolate peanut butter. It may not heal disappointment, but ohhh baby would I be willing to argue freshly made homemade peanut butter is probably the best bandaid for disappointment. And yes, I did eat it by the spoonful, thanks for asking.
Made anything good lately?
Have you ever made your own nut butter? Or had chocolate peanut butter in general?