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.
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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).
Kastengel is made with a special Dutch cheese calls Edam. It’s a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. I haven’t been able to find any Edam cheese here and so I substitute with Gouda cheese. Some people use Cheddar cheese too. I haven’t tried with Cheddar cheese before. The different cheese with its different fat content may affect the result of kastengel.
You know in Chinese New Year celebration, many of the foods that are served must carry or represent good meaning. These kastengels resembles gold bars 🙂 Needless to say, many of Chinese would want gold bars in their houses 😉 Some foods can become very popular because of how they sound when you pronounce it, look like, or written.
These Kastengels are buttery and savory with that wonderful cheese aroma that I find addicting. I eat sweet stuff too but I’m the kind who leans more towards savory food. Kastengel is one of those foods that reminds me a lot of my childhood days in Indonesia 🙂
Kue Kastengel (Dutch-Indonesian Cheese Tarts)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup Edam shredded cheese
Place the butter at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften. Place the butter in a stand mixer bowl with wire beater attached. Whip the butter for 1 minute on low speed and add egg yolk and whip on high speed for 5 minutes . Add the cheese, flour, milk powder and use a spatula to stir to mix into a non-sticky dough
Preheat oven to 330 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a parchment paper or silicon mat on a working surface. Roll the dough out to about 1-inch thickness. Use a knife to cut the dough about 1-inch in width and then cut into individual about 3 inches long. You will probably get about 34-45 pieces. Arrange these on the cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 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. Store in air-tight container and they can last up to one month (but i doubt they will last that long, not in our house!)
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)