Kue Kastengel (Dutch-Indonesian Cheese Tarts)- These savory cheese tarts owed its origin to Dutch’s Kaasstangels (Cheese Sticks) are popular tarts for festive occasions like Chinese New Year, Christmas, and Eid Al Fitr in Indonesia.
Another one of my childhood favorite Chinese New Year cookies is this Kue Kastengel or Kaastangels in Dutch. Kaas means cheese and Stengels means stick. Yes, cheese sticks originated from the Netherlands. Of course, kastengel is popular not only during Chinese New Year, but also for celebrations like Christmas and Lebaran (Eid Al Fitr) in Indonesia. We usually call cookies or tarts like these as Kue Kering (Dry Cookies).
TYPE OF BUTTER TO USE
My aunt often said to use good quality butter like Wijsman Dutch Butter, Beurdell Butter, Red Feather Pure Creamery Butter, etc. for best result. Some of these butter are already salted so you can omit the salt in the recipe. I can’t always find canned butter I mentioned and use regular butter and I can tell the difference in aroma.
TYPE OF CHEESE TO USE
Kastengel is made with a special Dutch cheese calls Edam. It’s a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. Usually an aged old cheeses is best for kastengel as they have low moisture and distinct flavor. If you can’t find Edam, you can use Gouda or Parmesan, or combinations of Gouda and Parmesan or Edam and Parmesan is nice too.
HOW TO MAKE REALLY GOOD KASTENGEL
1. Make the dough
Combine flour, salt, and milk powder in a bowl and stir to mix. Place the butter and egg yolk in a stand mixer bowl with a flat beater attached. Whip the butter and egg until just combined. Do not overbeat the butter or the kastengel crumbles easily after being baked
Stir in Edam cheese and the flour mixture
Use hand to combine into a dough. Don’t overwork the dough. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
2. Shape the dough
Preheat oven to 300 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a parchment paper or silicon mat on a working surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thickness
Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough about 1/2-inch in width and then cut into individual about 2-3 inches long
You will probably get about 40-45 pieces. You can re-roll the dough scrapes and cut into shapes again
Arrange them on the baking sheet, about 1/4-inch apart. They don’t expand much. Put them in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with more cheese
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. This really depends on your oven too, you may need a bit longer time or shorter
Let the kastengel cool off on the baking sheet for 1 minute and then remove to cooling rack to let them cool down completely before storing
1. Don’t overbeat the butter and eggs – the baked tarts will crumble easily after baked
2. Use aged old cheeses like Edam, Gouda, and Parmesan for best result
3. If you can get canned butter, I would highly recommend using it as it really shines through the finished product
4. Chill the dough before rolling and cutting will make your life easier
DID YOU MAKE THIS KASTENGEL RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Recipe was published in 2018 and recently improved and video is added in May 2020.
Kue Kastengel (Dutch-Indonesian Cheese Tarts)
- 1 egg yolk
- Edam cheese to sprinkle on top
Make the dough:
- Place the butter at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften. If it's warm where you are, it may not take that long. Place the butter and egg yolk in a stand mixer bowl with a flat beater attached. Whip the butter and egg until just combined. Do not overbeat the butter or the kastengel crumbles easily after being baked. Alternatively, you can just mix the butter by hands using a spatula
- Once the butter and egg are combined, add the flour, milk powder, cheese, and salt. Use your hand to mix everything into a dough. It may seem really dry at first, but keep mixing and they will come together into a dough
Chill the dough:
- Wrap the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes
Shape the dough:
- Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C) for a conventional oven. For a convection oven, please lower the temperature by 20 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a parchment paper or silicon mat on a working surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough about 1/2-inch in width and then cut into individual about 2-3 inches long. You will probably get about 40-45 pieces
- Arrange them on the baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. This really depends on your oven too, you may need a bit longer time or shorter
- Let the kastengel cool off on the baking sheet for 1 minute and then remove to cooling rack to let them cool down completely before storing
- Store in an air-tight container and they can last up to one month
- If you don't have cake flour, simply use 175 gr all-purpose flour + 25 gr cornstarch to make your own cake flour.
Other popular cookies/tarts for festive celebration in Indonesia:
KUE SEMPRIT SUSU (INDONESIAN BUTTER COOKIES)
KUE SEMPRONG/KUE KAPIT/KUE BELANDA (LOVE LETTERS COOKIES)
KUE BANGKIT SANTAN / CHINESE NEW YEAR TAPIOCA COOKIES
CHINESE NEW YEAR PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (KUE SKIPPY)
KUE NASTAR LUMER (MELT-IN-THE-MOUTH PINEAPPLE TARTS)
KUE SALJU (SNOW WHITE COOKIES)