[The Canada 150 Blog Challenge is hosted by the Culinary Historians of Canada and invites bloggers to participate throughout Canada’s sesquicentennial year by publishing posts related to each month’s unique theme.]
Following WWII, both of my maternal grandparents immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands. Growing up, I didn’t notice how little pieces of Dutch culture had woven themselves into my life. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized not everyone called the dish cloth a doek (pronounced “duke”) or why my grandmother called me “snoepie” (a word for “sweetie”, pronounced “snoopy”). Our family enjoys the traditions of advocaat and chocolate letters at Christmas. And often, anytime of year, my mother would bake boterkoek. It’s a simple cake, but something about that deep, buttery flavor gave it an addictive quality. Sometimes my mother would add almonds to it, but I always preferred a simple boterkoek, with no extra trimmings.
Normally I would try to find the oldest recipe I could, but boterkoek is a funny little cake which came from such modest beginnings that it seems difficult to find in cookbooks. I think it’s the type of recipe everyone would know and therefore not need to have written down. I looked through an old cookbook my mother had from my grandmother, and the only recipe was for filled boterkoek, which is a bit of a level up from the regular old thing. So instead I decided to make my mother’s recipe. I can’t say much about it or where it came from, but this is what I grew up on.
May 2017: Food From Mother
“In honour of Mother’s Day (May 14), CHC invites food bloggers to share recipes relating to mothers. We’re looking for the techniques and recipes passed on by your mother or grandmothers, or, more broadly, from your mother culture.”
(From my mother’s recipe cards)
Predictably delicious and addictive! Mr. Man practically ate the whole thing himself. He likened it to a soft shortbread. Not sure what else to say other than it’s a tried and true classic for my family!
- I halved the recipe to make just one cake and it turned out fine.
Boterkoek (20th century)
Two 8 inch cakes
1 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons almond flavouring
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8 inch cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients.
- Divide the dough evenly and pat into the two prepared pans.
- Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
You may easily bake these in 9 inch pans instead.
You can halve this recipe.