Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dentelles Coeurs de Bruges or Heart-Shaped Lace Cookies from Bruges, Kletskopper

Two swans touch each other´s beaks gently, arching their necks together into a heart shape, as a third bird glides away like a white, slippery soap bar in a bathtub. In the vine-covered town of Bruges, in Belgium, the canals surround minute, narrow dwellings that make you wonder if Rumpelstiltskin will emerge, skipping, from around the next corner. You won´t have to spin wool from large spools of thread, but you will occasionally see a lady wearing a bonnet seated outside on the sidewalk, as she swirls long beads to spin a delicate strand of white lace. 

History of Bruges
In the 1300´s and 1400´s, Bruges was a wealthy city in Europe, filled with bankers from different countries, that was a major textile trade center. However, its water connection to the sea closed naturally in the 1500´s, leading to its economic downfall. The city first became a tourist attraction in the 1900´s.

Lace Cookie from Bruges in Belgium
A special type of tuile cookie (a thin wafer that is pliable when warm and bent into the shape of a rooftile, or tuile) is left flat, and its batter leaves irregular holes in the cookie, which are found to be similar to lace. The cookies are thus named after the lace and this town, and are called "Dentelles (lace) de Bruges".  Another name for the same cookie is "Bruges Kletskoppen (shiny head of a bald person)", in Dutch. The shiny surface of the cookie reminds people of the shiny head of a bald person. The taste is sweet, buttery, and crunchy.
Dentelle/Lace Cookie

Dentelle Shadow

Recipe (Source:, submitted by Sansan de Romsee to
150 g butter
250 g granulated sugar
300 g brown sugar or muscovado sugar
250 g all purpose flour
150 g chopped almonds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
100 g warm water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cream the softened butter and sugars. Add 100 g of warm water and mix.

Add sifted flour, cinnamon, and salt. After combining them with the rest of the batter, mix in the almonds. Place the batter in teaspoonfuls on parchment paper on the baking sheet; take care to leave a lot of space in between each cookie; an advisable amount of cookies per sheet is 9. If you don´t have parchment paper, you can grease the sheet and place directly on the sheet.
If you use parchment paper, you should bake the cookies for 6 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let the cookies become firmer for two minutes, before removing them from the paper carefully with a spatula, and placing them on a cooling rack.

LACE/DENTELLE TUILES: If you would like to bend them into a rooftile shape, or tuile, place over a wave former, cannoli cylinder, or a horizontally-placed glass.

LACE/DENTELLE SHAPES: If you would like to make heart-shaped dentelles, or flower-shaped dentelles, take metal cookie cutters in the wanted shape, and place on cooking sheet over the teaspoonful of dough. You will only be able to do as many shaped dentelles at once per baking sheet as the amount of cookie cutters you have. You could try placing different shapes on the same sheet, or using different sizes of the same-shaped cookie cutter, if you have a set. When the cookie is baking, the batter will spread out until it fills the cutter, and its shape will be defined when you remove it from the oven. You will have to adjust the quantities of dough, depending on the size of the cutter.
Result: The cookies are crunchy, thin, with a strong flavorful butter taste.

Flower-shaped Dentelles


No comments: