Bluefinger Cookies

Looking for an original Dutch cookie from Zwolle? Why not try the bluefinger? This cookie, like my blogs name, referes to the nickname of the inhabitants of Zwolle.

In the Middle Ages, the city elders asked the neighbouring – and rival – town of Kampen to buy Zwolle’s carillon in order to get much needed cash. Magistrates of Kampen agreed but stipulated that they were allowed to determine the denomination of the payment. To embarrass their Zwolle neighbours, Kampen’s payment came in the form of the smallest denomination possible, the pure copper four duit pieces, a whole cart full of them. Apparently, Zwolle’s officials counted every single penny till their fingers turned blue from the oxide.

The bluefinger is piped in the shape of a finger, baked and glazed with some chocolate glaze to represent the blue stain of the copper. Doesn’t it look just like a finger?

Bluefinger cookies
makes about 40 – 60 cookies

200 grams / 8 oz butter
175 grams / 7 oz soft light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 egg
200 grams / 8 oz flour
25 grams / 1 oz hazelnuts
50 grams / 2 oz icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa

Stirring with a spoon, soften the butter in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla sugar and the egg and mix well. Sift the flour bit by bit over it and thoroughly fold it in the butter/sugar mix.

Chop the nuts and add them to the mix as well.

Grease a cookie sheet with butter.

Put the mix into a cake decorating bag and attach a wide star (serrated) tip. Pipe 3-4”/7-10 cm long cookies on the sheet, spaced an inch (3 centimetres) apart.

Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven at 175ºC/340ºF for 15 minutes until golden brown.

After baking, put the cookies on a rack to cool. While waiting, sift the cocoa and icing sugar into a small bowl and add drop-by-drop about 1 tablespoon of water. Stir well into a smooth chocolate paste.

With a brush, put chocolate in the shape of a finger nail on one end of the cookie.

 

 

A little bit of France in Zwolle

There’s a new kid in town: De Stadsbakker!! The building he’s situated is amazing: modern on the bottom and traditional on top.

The owner actually moved to France and worked in a boulangerie there to get the hang of making typical French bread, croissants and tartlets.

Everything looks soooo good, in fact I’ve bought several tartlets to try out and will blog about them later!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter my $70 CSN gift card giveaway, deadline is Thursday July 29th, midnight CET!
Posted in Zwolle. 2 Comments »

>Zwolle Culinair

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It’s that time of year again: the end of October, which in Zwolle means: time for Zwolle Culinair (or in English: Culinary Zwolle). This is an event that’s been going on the last 5 years in one of the last weekends of October. Zwolle Culinair is held in an old church in downtown Zwolle, lots of (high) quality restaurants of Zwolle and area participate. The goal is to let people see and taste a presentation of dishes. Entrance is free and guests can have a seat in real miniature restaurants that also give a good impression of the atmosphere of the restaurant: so each restaraunts has different chairs, tables, etcetera. You buy plastic coins which you can use to pay for the dishes. Feel free to check out their website here (warning: it’s in Dutch!!) scroll down to see which dishes my friend and I tried…..
We started of by walking around the church and looking at all the different menus to figure out where we wanted to try a dish. Ou first stop was Xanders Bazaar. My friend tried the Atúm con molho de pimente (freshly cut tuna with a slightly spicy dip of creme fraiche), I picked Domates kebabifirindan (Tomato-beef-kebab from the oven). The tuna was extremely fresh and very nicely combined with the dip. The kebab looked so cute and was very tasty as well!

Freshly cut tuna with a slightly spicy dip of crème fraîche

Tomato-beef-kebab from the oven
Then we went to one of my favourite restaurants: Restaurant Poppe, this was combined with another restaurant owned by the same family: Pampus. We had some difficulties trying to figure out what exactly we wanted to eat there…. So many good things on the menu! My friend picked the goatcheese mousse with mangochtuney and a cheesecracker, I choose the deer with nuts and a vanilla sauce. My friend liked the goatcheese combo, although the aftertaste of the goatcheese was a bit too tart for her taste. My deer was perfect, the vanillasauce also tasted a bit like cloves and was accompanied by a mash with cantharells. To finish it off we both had the apple-beignets with icecream made with five spices: this combination was delicious! The icecream tastes of cinnamon, cardemom, ginger, cloves and mace, it was perfect!

Mousse of goatschees with mangochutney and cheesecracker

Deer with nuts and a vanilla sauce

Apple-beignets with icecream made with five spices

Our next stop was a mexican restaurant called La Cucaracha. My friend wanted to try the Bocadillo Americano (miniature hotdog of jalapeño-cornbread and chorizo) and I picked the Quessadilla (quessadilla filled with cilantro, crushed pepper and sheepcheese served on a mash of carrots).

Bocadillo Americano

Quessadilla

Then on to restaurant Binnen (binnen is Dutch for inside) where we both had Zwartgoud rolletjes (rolled-up carpaccio filled with parmesan) and the Chocolate surprise. The carpaccio was amazing, but surprisingly we both didn’t care much for the chocolate surprise… Afterwards the restaurant gave us a free sample of their chocolate lollipops: they were truffles. Yum!!

Rolled-up carpaccio filled with parmesan

Chocolate surprise

Chocolate lollipops

After that my friend was full and had enough, but I still had a little appetite so we stopped at a new restaurant, part of the new hotel Pillows. There I chose Muffin of white chocolate a caramel of fleur de sel. This looked amazing but somehow managed to dissapoint me deeply….
The structure of the muffin was way too dense and dry. At first it was sweet with a saly afterbite, but after a couple of bites the salty flavour started to ovewpower the rest of the muffin which made this a ‘yuck’ experience for me.

Muffin of white chocolate a caramel of fleur de sel

So after that unsatisfying muffin I needed to finish Zwolle Culinair with a nice but not too heavy dessert since I was already quite full, so I went back to the mexican restaurant La Cucaracha and ordered EnRico (Granité of orange, tequila and spices with cinnamonfoam).
This was exactly what I expected: nice light shavings of orange icecream. Delightfull!

Granité of orange, tequila and spices with cinnamonfoam

On our way out we passed the restaurant ‘t Pestengasthuys where we saw that they had something similar to a doggybag: a carboard box with a picture of their restaurant on it, filled with three tiny miniature dishes. Since we had exactly 4 coins left (the ammount needed for this box) we decided to take this along for my brother. The doggiebag, named PGHuysje, contained a spicy ‘Wolden’ sausage (Wolden is the area where the sausage comes from), preskop (pieces of skinny porkmeat in jelly with parsley, onion and pickles) and marjolaine tart with chocolate mascarpone.

PGHuysje

Spicy ‘Wolden’ sausage

Preskop

Marjolaine tart with chocolate mascarpone

The sausage doesn’t look very appetizing, but according to my brother it was very tasty.
He didn’t dare to try the preskop, but neither did his girlfriend, my friend or I.
His dog (a dachshund puppy of 11 weeks) did however like the smell of it!
The marjolaine tart was delicious!