My Favourite Dutch Cookies – Weekend Bakery (2023)

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My Favourite Dutch Cookies – Weekend Bakery (1)

I love a delicious cookie with a good story attached to it…

‘Arnhemse Meisjes’ (Girls from the city of Arnhem) are my absolute favorite traditional Dutch cookies (or biscuits if you will) in the world. They are flaky, caramel crispy light with a sweet crunch.. These cookies look like they are made from some kind of puff pastry but that’s not the case. Some people make them with ready made puff pastry, but believe me, that is short cut you do not want to take!

For the absolute original ‘Arnhemse Meisjes’ you need to make this bread-like dough with a drop of lemon juice. It’s fun to make these cookies. Especially the rolling the dough through the sugar part. This is also the way my grandfather, who was a baker, used to make them. The original recipe comes from a bakery named Van Zalinghe by a master baker called Hagdorn around 1829.

The recipe was a big secret for a long time, until a certain writer came along by the name of Dahl. This is also his absolute favorite cookie by the way. Roald Dahl had the power to persuade the baker to give up his recipe. He ‘shamelessly’ published it in his cookbook. After that, everybody copied it, so I won’t feel too bad when I tell you how it goes:

Ingredients for the Arnhemse Meisjes

makes about 20-24 cookies

190 g pastry flour

pinch of salt

100 ml fresh milk

5 g fresh yeast (or about 1.6 grams / 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast)

4 drops fresh lemon juice

105 g unsalted butter at room temperature in cubes

Coarse type of sugar for the coating of the cookies

Making the Arnhemse Meisjes
Day 1: make the dough by sifting the flour and salt. Stir the yeast with the milk until dissolved. Mix this with the flour and lemon juice. With a mixer, beat in the butter cubes, bit by bit, in stages. Press the dough into a flat disc in a plastic bag (yes it’s a bit sticky, that’s how it’s supposed to be) and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Day 2: Take the dough from the fridge and shape it into a sausage. Cut the roll into pieces and shape into little balls, the size of a walnut. Put in the fridge to firm up again. Preheat the oven at 165ºC / 330ºF (conventional oven). Coat the balls in sugar. Sprinkle sugar over your work surface. With a rolling pin roll out the balls in the sugar into an oval shape of about 15 cm/ 6 inches long. Place them on a buttered tray or baking paper. You may sprinkle them with some more sugar if necessary. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wired rack. Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. Sharron Brady says

    Wow, you have a “comment policy”? Shouldn’t you be grateful that people are coming to your site? Your last line of the policy, “We love to help you, but please do not make the questions feel like school homework” is insulting and condescending. And speaking of homework, your site is full of typos.

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      (Video) Lynden Dutch Bakery celebrates 115th bday 🥳🎂🎉

      Thank you Sharron,
      We wrote this when we were overwhelmed with lists of questions and the homework remark was a bit of ‘in jest’, but we will look into it. Hope the ‘We love to help you’ (for over 12 years now) did not go unnoticed too 🙂

      Reply

  2. Doreen Acord says

    What is 190 ,100, 5,and 105 equilivant to in cups ? I’m from the US and I couldn’t find the answer on goggle. Ty so much .

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hello Doreen,
      190 grams flour = 1 and 1/2 cups plus a small teaspoon
      100 milliliter milk = 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons or about 6.8 tablespoons
      105 grams butter = 1 stick (which is about 113 grams) minus halve a tablespoon
      You can also see which conversion works best for you on our conversion page: www.weekendbakery.com/cooki…nversions/

      Hope you like the cookies!

      Reply

  3. Edith says

    Its the first time I used coarse sugar, and it’s absolutely delightful! They definitely don’t last…I have to find new hiding places in my kitchen so hubby doesn’t eat them all at once. lol

    Reply

  4. Jan says

    My mother (of Dutch descent) made these. She and her great-aunt from whom she got the recipe called them “Chicago Girls.” I always wondered where the name came from but apparently they simply Americanised the name.

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Thank you Jan, we love your comment!

      Reply

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  5. Jasmine says

    Hello Ed and Marieke,

    I am about to make your delicious cookies a second time – the dough is waiting for me in the fridge!

    I was wondering how thick the dough is when you roll it out? If I roll it very thin, they are very crispy but if I leave a little thickness they have a bit of puff in them but they are not as crisp. Should I bake them for a bit longer to get them crispy and flaky? Or am I aiming for a more flaky cookie?

    Dank u wel,
    Jasmine

    Reply

  6. Anna says

    I tried these cookies and they were delicious couldn’t stop eating them! My only question is that they did not puff up – should they? Should they be left to rise slightly on the baking tray eg. 30 minutes before baking?

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hello Anna,
      Because the dough has already had such a long period in the fridge there is no need for the extra 30 minutes you suggest, but if you want to try it it really will not hurt the end result we think. Because this is a bread-like dough you get a certain amount of puff, but it is more subtle than puff pastry. Could be, because all ovens are different, your cookies would benefit from a slightly higher oven temperature (especially in the beginning). Always resist the temptation to open the oven door during baking of course…you lose so much heat this way!

      Enjoy your baking!

      Reply

  7. Evelyn says

    I wish ingredients were in cups or spoons not gram or ml😊

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Maybe you can use our handy converter tool too Eveline, like Nadine below.
      www.weekendbakery.com/cooki…nversions/

      (Video) My Favorite Archway Cookie

      But we see there are only two things to convert and this immediately makes us happy with our scales and wanting to urge everybody to use them.
      The flour would be 1 and a halve cup.
      But we see the butter gets converted to…the following:
      105 grams of butter is a quarter cup+ 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon + 1.2 quarter teaspoon, which is about 7.4 tablespoons.
      Looking at it from another angle using your sticks of butter it would be 1 stick minus about 1 and 3/4 teaspoons butter.

      You can maybe understand why (like us Europeans) more and more people are using scales when baking and why we are big advocates of this tool. You can see it in all the baking competitions on TV too. It is so hard to be exact and get a consistent result with cups and spoons.

      Hope the ‘meisjes’ will be a success, they truly are delicious and special to us.

      Reply

  8. Nadine says

    Boy these sound really yummy but would need measerments in US teaspoons, tablespoons and cups any chance of that?

    woops I just found your converse chart so now I have what I need. This is a great cite thank you.

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Thank you Nadine, hope you will be charmed by this special ‘koekje’ too! Also see the comment above.

      Reply

  9. Karin Anderson (Karin's Bäckerei) says

    How interesting and nice. I love old recipes, and will try these for Christmas.

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Thank you Karin,
      Wonderful breads and baking on your website. I just spotted your limoncello cheesecake recipe and we just recently made some ourselves so using it in a cheesecake will be just the thing!

      Happy (Christmas) baking,

      Marieke

      Reply

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  10. jessica says

    I have in front of me an authentic package of Arnhmse Meisjes that I brought back with me to the States. As my family is from the Arnhem area, I’ve been looking for a recipe and this looks much closer than any of the puff pastry knock offs I’ve seen. I will try this very soon! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hi Jessica,
      Hope you had a great time in Holland!
      Let us know how they turn out, compared to the authentic package (which is probably finished already by now :0)

      Happy Baking!

      Marieke

      Reply

  11. Kristie says

    I love old recipes, the older the better. Got to try these out very soon!

    Reply

  12. Marieke says

    Hi Lael,

    I again got big smiles recently while presenting these cookies to friends.
    But they also really like the oatmeal ones.

    Reply

  13. Lael says

    I love trying new kinds of cookies, especially ones with a story behind them. Thanks for sharing these. I can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

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