Caramelized Macadamia Nuts with Smoked Paprika & Chili Pepper

Photo 22-12-15 13 51 34The thing I’ve been doing since the start of the year has made me very happy, namely to get rid of mental clutter and the idea of obligations.
The writer of this brilliant piece states that she now goes to the supermarket in her pyjamas.

Even though I am not there (yet), I’ve taken a stance on food. Does it spark joy?
If the answer is yes, I am eating it. Whether that means that I am eating Pan de Datile for breakfast or Peanut Butter with a spoon as a snack, if it makes me happy I will do so. I am assured that from time to time my body will request me to go back to a soup, or maybe even a better version of a salad.

For now I am enjoying to eat different kinds of snacks. It was around New Year’s Eve that I started to experiment with different types of sweet snacks. Stuff that I could leave on the table in a tin or jar and that our houseguests could easily eat off.

So far I’ve embarked on a couple of successes, in the form of Peanut Butter Cups with Seasalt, Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters and now these Caramelized Smoked Paprika Macademia Nuts. I’ve found that these are really addictive, and I suspect that is the combination of sweet, salt and smokiness against the creaminess of the macademia nuts. They’re pretty extraordinary, and you could easily tone them down by leaving out the smoked paprika and chili pepper (or reducing those).

Next to snacking, they make a wonderful addition to your bowl of tomato soup, paprika salad or crushed on top of a nice risotto (in which case I’d advice to reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon).

The note I would like to make is that these taste best the same day they’re made. It is possible that they become a little sticky in a humid environment (for example a kitchen at full blast) or simply over time. Both staleness and stickiness can be solved by reheating the nuts in the oven on a sheet of baking paper at around 150-175 degrees for around 10 minutes, after they cool down you will notice that their structure has improved greatly again. View Full Post

Amandelspijs & Dutch Almond Cookies

Regardless of all kinds of chauvinistic feelings, as a Dutchi, I simply have to admit that Dutch cooking more or less comes down to Dutch snacking (well that, and the incorporated Belgium and French influences around dinner time). All things I associate with Dutch cuisine come down to deep-fried nibbles, cheese and sweet baked goods.
It makes me smile to realise that entertaining and party food are high on the agenda here in the lowlands. It is all about maintaining the right priorities.:)

And sure, here in the midst of moving to Germany (!), I am finding myself holding on to all things that seem to be the epitome of Dutchness. Next to buying (read: hoarding) cheese and cycles (yeah baby!), I might have gotten a little sentimental when I saw these cookies at the bakery.

These almond cookies are a classic and calling them cookies already feels like an understatement. Proper Dutch would dictate that they are called Weesper Mopjes, which more or less translates into sweethearts from Amsterdam (awww!).

Preparing the almond paste will take some time, simply because it needs time to mature. Other than that, this all comes together really quickly.
I have found that the same product gets called Marzipan Rohmasse, almond paste or mandelmasse in other countries.

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