Kaastengels, kastengel or Kaasstengels. Pay attention to these spellings! They look alike, but they are actually different. Although the word is derived from Dutch Kaasstengels or Kaastengels, the Indonesian Kaastengels or Kastengel has a different form from its two distant cousins in the Netherlands.
Kaasstengels means “cheese-sticks”; kaas is cheese and stengels means stems or sticks. Meanwhile, Kaastengels in Dutch means “cheese-fingers”. And what is the meaning of kaastengels or kastengel word in Indonesian? No Indonesian word describes it except kue kering keju (cheese cookies). Additionally, some people write “kastengels”. No standardization in spelling for this cheese cookies in Indonesia.
In the Netherlands, Kaasstengels are traditional puff pastries with cheese on top and Kaastengels are cheese lumpia (spring rolls) in fingers size. For further story and pictures of Dutch Kaasstengels and Kaastengels, click to this link.
The Netherlands is very well known for its cheese! That is why there is a slang word for the Dutch “Kaaskop” which means cheesehead.
During 3 festive days in Indonesia; Eid ul fitr, Christmas and Chinese New Year, you’ll find jars of cookies including Kaastengels or Kastengel at family’s living room. In Indonesian recipes, Edam is more popular cheese to be used instead of Gouda. Here is the differences between Edam and Gouda beside the town where they’re made in. I myself prefer Gouda as this cheese is creamier. In this post, I used a Beemester Gouda.
Also, Indonesians are very opinionated towards this Wijsman Dutch canned butter, which I had a hard time to find it when I visited the Netherlands. The only place, I could find was at Amazing Oriental or Indonesian tokos. Apparently, Wijsman butter was created specifically for tropical countries and no refrigerators during the colonial time . Being said that no fridge is needed, this butter can be stored at your room temperature! No need to let sit at a room temperature before baking it.
300 grams Wijsman Dutch canned butter or high-quality unsalted butter , softened
225 grams Overjarige (over 18 months) Gouda cheese, shredded
350 grams cake and pastry flour (low protein flour)
50 grams cornstarch
2 boiled egg yolks
2 egg yolks
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons honey
- If you are using Wijsman Dutch canned butter, you won't need to place butter at a room temperature for 30 minutes to soften. There is no need to store in the fridge. However, if you use a butter that is common to be sold, you'll need to place the butter at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften.
- Place Wijsman butter and boiled egg yolks in a stand mixer bowl with a wire beater attached. At a low speed, whip them just to get mixed. Add egg yolks and continue whipping just to smoothen. Other butters, you'll need to whip butter for a minute at a low speed then add boiled egg yolks to get mixed, then add egg yolks. Continue whipping for another 2-3 minutes at high speed.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the cheese, flour and corn starch milk With a spatula to stir the mixture until a non-sticky consistency dough is reached.
- Preheat oven to 165 C or 330 F. Line baking sheets with parchment papers. Work on a silicon mat or cleaned surface.
- With a rolling pin, flatten your dough about less than 1-centimetre or 2/5-inch. Measure about 1-centimetre or 2/5-inch in wide and 5-centimetres length or 2-inches long. Use a dough cutter to cut them. If you have a kaastengels mould, you won't need to measure. Just using it to cut the dough.
- On baking sheets, arrange unbaked kaastengels. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Depending to your oven, you may need a shorter or longer period to bake.
- After removing from the oven, let them cool off on baking sheets for another minute. Then, remove to cooling rack to let them cool down completely. Store in air-tight containers. Approximately 1 month of storage time.
- You may need to play around with the quantity of flour. Flour is a life ingredient. It's changed depend on the environment surround it such as temperature and humidity.
- Corn starch or maizena is used to stop rising process of cookies. So, it won't be too wide!
- This recipe has been adapted to where I live, where a full cream milk powder is not common to be found. The only milk powder is a skim one. Skim milk powder doesn't have the same functions as the full cream one since the milk protein is different. Milk protein of full cream is needed to help cookie's dough stronger to bind.
- Boiled egg yolks is added to smoothen the cookie's dough. So, it becomes melt in your mouth.
- To get a crispy topping of kaasstengels, make sure you use processed cheddar cheese. If you are using naturally fermented cheddar cheese, you will have soft toppings. Processed cheddar cheese can be categorized as "NOT CHEESE" due to the amount of milk being use.