Tag Archives: gouda

Cookie of the Week: Goudse Moppen

As the lockdown has progressed, our household has been starting to feel a bit unhealthy. We’ve been consuming lot of pasta and cheese, so we decided the moment had arrived to switch things up. We signed up with OddBox to get a delivery of various fruit and veggies every week, and now that the weather is getting warmer, we’re having substantial salads made with lentils and lots of raw, chopped veg. I feel like the old adage “you are what you eat” was never more appropriate, as we’re really feeling the correlation between our meals and how we’re feeling. It also means that if we don’t keep things healthy, there will be piles of vegetables on the kitchen worktop making us feel guilty. Few things make you eat more veg than knowing there is even more veg arriving in the next day or so!

But what this musing on health have to do with cookies? I guess it is my roundabout way of saying we’re not giving up on them, but I’ve started making batches of smaller cookies rather than large ones. Since we’re not doing spin classes or four-hour walks any more, those mega-treats are rather off limits for the time being. That said, I do now have a bike and I’m getting into using it, but not quite enough to justify too many large, chewy choc chip cookies. Well, not yet anyway…

So. We’ve done some delayed cake, so here are some delayed cookies! I’ve made a batch of Goudse Moppen. These are Dutch cookies that hail from the city of Gouda. It’s a place that is more famous for its cheese and the name roughly translates as “jokes from Gouda”. Or maybe we could call them “Gouda wheezes from the city of cheeses”? Anyway, like the cheese, these cookies are very good. Buttery, flavoured with a little lemon zest, and very much the sort of small cookie you might have in the afternoon with a cup of coffee.


These are a very easy cookie to make. The dough is a simple shortbread-type dough which is formed into a log and rolled in granulated sugar (or kristalsuiker in Dutch, which translates as the more poetic “crystal sugar”).

The logs are then chilled, sliced and baked, leaving each cookie with delicate texture and a crisp sugared edge.


One little aside that may be more of a testament to me now being in Week 8 of working from home. The traditional sort of sugar to use is the rude-sounding basterdsuiker. I wondered what this meant exactly beyond the obvious, but I was mainly left confused. There is pale and dark basterdsuiker which seem to me to be light brown and dark brown sugar. The mystery was what on earth white basterdsuiker could be. It is not normal caster sugar or granulated sugar, and it seems to be something with the higher moisture content of soft brown sugar, but it is white. Frankly, I’ve no idea what that would be as I’ve never seen it before. One for me to look out for on my next trip to the Netherlands. If you know, please enlighten me!

To make Goudse Moppen (makes around 50)

• 200g butter
• 125g caster sugar
• zest of 1/2 lemon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, finely ground
• 1 egg yolk
• 250g plain flour
• granulated sugar, to coat

1. Put the butter, caster sugar, lemon zest and salt into a bowl. Beat well until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and mix again until everything is combined. Finally add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon, and finally your hands, until it forms a soft dough.

2. Divide the dough in 2 pieces. Sprinkle the worktop with granulated sugar, and roll each piece out to a sausage of 4cm diameter, making sure that the entire outside of the roll is well-coated with sugar. Wrap each piece in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes, take then out of the fridge but leave them in cling film. Roll each one gently to make sure they keep their cylinder shape, as they can “sag” slightly if the dough is warm. Put back in the fridge and leave to chill overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

5. Unpack a roll of chilled cookie dough. Use a very sharp knife to cut 1cm pieces. Transfer to the baking sheet, leaving space for them to expand. Bake for around 15 minutes until golden, turning half way to get an even colour (watch them like a hawk – it’s a fine line between golden and burnt!). Remove from the oven, allow to cool and harden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Filed under Afternoon Tea, Cookie of the Week, Recipe, Sweet Things

On Location: Stout! and Villa Zeezicht (Amsterdam)

I just got back from a fun long weekend in Amsterdam. Pandering to many Dutch stereotypes:

We were there for a wedding which took place in quite a curious location – the Tassenmuseum (Museum of Bags and Purses). A fun little venue, made even more fun by the fact that during the reception, we were allowed to wander round and look at the exhibits with a glass of fizz in hand. As the weather cleared, we moved out into the garden to enjoy the sun, where the museum’s overly-friendly but moulting resident feline decided to rub itself against my new black suit. Cats!

Over the weekend, I was also at the arts festival De Parade in Utrecht. There are loads of little plays, songs and cabaret performances to attend, plus a great selection of food, from excellent Italian food to traditional Dutch street food. I also loved the art installation on the railway building in Utrecht. Looks a little like an alien invasion!

In the downtime in Amsterdam between weddings and culture, I hit upon two little foodie gems.

Firstly, I finally got some good appelgebak (Dutch apple pie) at Villa Zeezicht. Lots of nice fruit, lots of brown sugar and cinnamon, with nicely cooked pastry and a decent dollop of lightly whipped cream. In slightly chilly weather, this was just heavenly with a cup of coffee. They also offer this with a scoop of cinnamon ice-cream, which would be perfect when the weather is a little warmer.

Zeezicht also has a great (large) terrace by the Singel, where you can enjoy the sun, the apple pie and their tasty broodjes (sandwiches).

My other find was Stout! on the Haarlemmerstraat. This is a very up-and-coming street with boutiques, shops, delis and restaurants, just a few minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal station. I passed it at lunchtime, still a little the worse for wear from the wedding the day before, and my eye went straight for the “Old Holland” sandwich. This was a whole grain roll, with ripe tomatoes, rocket, very mature Gouda cheese and truffle-infused mayonnaise. This was, by quite some way, the most delicious sandwich I have had in quite some time. The cheese was nice and strong, the bread excellent, and the truffle flavour just sublime. A gorgeous snack in a nice place, with friendly staff where you can watch the world go by. Should you find yourself with a little spare time while waiting for a train in Amsterdam, dodge all the tourists and check out the Haarlemmerstraat!

Villa Zeezicht, Torensteeg 7, Amsterdam 1016. Tel: +31 20 6267433.

Stout!, Haarlemmerstraat 73, 1013 EL Amsterdam. Tel: +31 20 6163664

LondonEats locations map here.

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Filed under Amsterdam, On Location