Home » Recipes » Filled Cookies » Letterbanket




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Course: Filled Cookies, Hand-Shaped CookiesCuisine: Holland, NetherlandsDifficulty: Difficult



Letterbanket form long ropes of butter cookie dough filled with marzipan and are shaped into letters, traditionally the first letter of the family’s last name. In modern times, these are most often shaped into an “S”. These traditional Dutch cookies are usually made on December 5th, St. Nicholas’ Eve. They are sometimes called St. Nicholas’ Eve Letters.*


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup ice water

  • 2 cups marzipan or almond paste

  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water

  • Coarse or pearl sugar, for decorating


  • In a large mixing bowl, cut butter into flour using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough can be formed into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and let stand for about 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking liner. On a lightly floured board, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into strips about 2-1/2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Roll marzipan or almond paste into thin snakes about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Place on the strips of dough and fold the dough over the filling, sealing the edges with water. Place on prepared baking sheets and bend the rolls into letters. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with decorating sugar. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until dough is golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from baking sheets.


  • * Other alternate names and spellings: banket letter, almond letter, butter letter banketstaaf, banketstaven, banketletter, boterletter.


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(example: Sue in LA)

I make these with almond paste inside so yummy!
- A Baker
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