Kastengels, the Most Popular Cheese Cookie
There are certain must-have dishes during holiday festivities in Indonesia, especially during Eid al Fitr. Kastengels is one of them. Kastengels is a baked cheese cookies with salty and savory taste.
The cheese cookie dough is basically similar to pineapple tart. However, kastengels will taste better if you use cheese from the Netherlands, such as Edam and Gouda, to create a savory and crunchy cookies.
The ever popular cheese cookie originated from the Netherlands. The name “Kastengels” consists of the words kaas or cheese, and stengles, which means sticks in Dutch. Therefore, these cheese cookies are named kaastengles or cheese sticks.
Kastengels in Indonesia are different than the ones in the Netherland. What differentiate the cheesecookies is the size. In the Netherland, kaastengles has a longer size, approximately 30 cm. If we try to trace its history, these cheese cookies were brought by the Dutch to Indonesia during the colonial era. The cookie size was modified to adjust with the smaller size tools and oven. Therefore, the cookie was cut into smaller sizes to fit in the oven. Since then, the smaller size of kastengels in Indonesia has been maintained without changing the taste.
Overtime, the shape of kaastengels has undergone many modifications and variations. Today, the shape of kaastengels has become more varied. One of the variations is the flower shape. The variations of cheesecookies in the form of four-point or five-point flower are most common.
Other than flower shape, some cheese cookies are made in the shape of pretzels. To make this pretzel-shaped cheese cookies, you only have to twist the dough and arrange it in a pretzel shape. In addition to the two shapes above, you can create other shapes of kastengels.
Although the shape is important, don’t overlook the taste and quality of the cheese cookies. As the name suggests, cheese is the key to delicious kastengels. Use good quality cheese to make cheese cookies. Parmesan is commonly used in this recipe. Adjust the number of cheese in your cheese cookie dough, to avoid them being too savory or too salty.
What’s also important is the egg wash on top of kastengels. The purpose is to make the cheese cookies shiny and nice. Brush the egg wash before you bake the kastengels. To achieve even golden color, it is advised to brush the egg wash 2 to 3 times. Give a 5 minute space between each brush to allow the color to be absorbed.