The million dollar question... someone comes over for coffee and a chat. You go ahead, brew some fresh coffee, and sure enough something to nibble on.
What do you do?
A) Present a cookie, close the lid on the jar and put it out of reach?
B) Present a cookie, put the cookie jar out on the table and with a hand gesture encourage to go ahead and have some more?
A..... you're Dutch!
B..... might as well be Dutch but you've learned a thing or two...
I know the stories about the thrifty Dutch who, with one eye on the clock (6 pm) send guests out on the street when dinner time is nearing and it seems that the cookie thing is world famous. We (as in "we Dutch") offer sweets... one with each cup of coffee and that's it. Period.
When Ulrike asked me about the latter, I had to think...and blushed... I think it's true! Not too sure about my generation but I know for sure that for instance my mother in law had a strict schedule in presenting. Special days there were bonbons (one! with a tiny bonbon saucer) with the first cup of coffee. And a -one- butter cookie with the second cup of coffee. Oh and coffee; she used to ask how many cups of coffee you'd like and brewed exactly that amount... no way she'd risk throwing out any extra! Oooh stories... I have so many I could tell you... I think no one from my family in law reads this but let's keep it safe...
To assure you, (and show you the contrast hehe) I come from a family that habitually brews enormous pots of coffee, loads the table during birthday parties, always had plenty food for any guests (or inventive enough to come up with something), the cookie jar out on the table. Contrary..when my friends and I meet over coffee, we just have coffee.. but that might have to do with our hips and thighs.....
Recipe butter cookies:
200 gr butter, softened
100 gr soft white sugar
2 tbs (2 packages) gr vanilla sugar
1/4 ts salt
250 gr patent flour
1 egg, loosened with a fork (eggwash)
topping of your choice, eg: ginger, candied peel, sugar clumps, jam, sprinkles
Combine butter, sugars and salt (medium bowl, spoon or fork). Add the flour and make a soft-ish dough. Wrap in plastic and leave to firm in the fridge (at least 1 hour).
On a floured work surface proceed to roll out your dough, aim for 4 mm (1/4 inch). Either use a cutter or a knife to make squares, brush with eggwash and choose your topping. I made an assortment and used some of each.
Gather your scraps, and do it all over again. Bake for 15 minutes on 180C, keep an eye out they might brown easily and you'll have to pull them out before the timer rings.
Rest assured, this will make enough to survive one or maybe even two (!) coffee visits ;-D