Several days ago, my mother showed me a box filled with baking recipes from her mother. My grandmother was born in the 1920s so in terms of baking, she had her fair share of baking in the Dutch Indies era. These recipes were typed on a good old fashioned typewriter with plenty of handwritten notes here and there as you can see in the photo. These recipes includes biscuits I am familiar with like Kattetongen, Schuimpjes and Roomhoorns to some that really sounds appetizing like Bloeder Peujeum (FTW!), Domino koekjes and Melk Bangket, to some that I need to really think hard about like P.F. P. R. Snijtaart, Tipsy cake and Up&Down.
While many of these recipes uses margarin (mentega) some suggests of use ‘roomboter’ or butter. Ask any Indonesian who is familiar with baking or loves eating koekjes, they would know the legendary Wijsman butter. H.J. Wijsman en Zonen has produced the canned butter since 1846. My guess is that they have been producing the butter exact same way until today. It is interesting to learn that this particular butter was especially made to ‘endure’ tropical climate. On their webpage they say that it is a “Canned butter for problem-free use in tropical countries.” It is said that the first butter was exported to Indonesia in 1900, I suppose that was when they figure out a recipe for butter that could stand ‘a bit’ of heat. Back then, they transport these butter in a wooden barrels and a special cooling system: ice cubes.
The other special ingredient is ‘Edammer’ or Edam cheese. Traditionally the cheese was made at a harbour town called Edam since the 12th Century. If you are familiar with this cheese, you’d recognise the red candle (paraffin) like wrappings on these balls of cheese. It was used for the first time on the 14th Century and the red coloured Edammer was used to mark the cheese that would be exported overseas. The paraffin wrapping enables the cheese to last a long overseas journeys.
There are also ingredient that gives such a strong character and very important in the South/Southeast Asian region: sugar and spices.
So yes, enough with history lesson and more of the recipe sharing as written on my Grandmother’s pages. I would like to share with you a recipe for koekjes that is rarely made these days : Domino Koekjes !