Okay, like I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on preparing as many nostalgic Dutch cookies as possible. This time of year is an excellent moment for ‘cookies from the old days’, so that’s a fortuitous coincidence. In my opinion, a Janhagel cookie therefor should not fail.
Janhagel, a typical Dutch, rectangular cookie, sprinkled with coarse sugar granules and/or almonds. The name is not a direct recommendation for such a treat and crisp. As early as the 17th century commoners were designated as Jan Hagel. The name, however, was often meant as something less flattering and also applied to the riffraff on the fringes of society. The sailors at that time were equated with this riffraff and except Jan Hagel they were also called Jan Rap. Moreover, there are plenty of Dutch baking products with a boy’s name such as ‘Keesjes’, a kind of gingerbread cookies, the ‘blinde (blind) Dirk’ and ‘Jan in de zak’ (Jan in the bag). By the way, the blinde Dirk was called blind because no dried grapes were processed in this boiler cake.
All in all, this cookie has a long history and therefore rightfully can be called traditional and nostalgic. For its preparation, I again used the old recipe booklet of my mother in law, just as I did with the gevulde speculaas and half-and-half cookies and of which I am certain to use it many times more. Nostalgia also brings nice memories along and keeps us warm, something that we most certaincly could use at this time of year.