When I was a VERY small child, I remember New Year’s Day having its own traditional food….Oly Koeken. There is some dispute over how to spell this food because these are Dutch words (that many grandchildren who don’t know a word of Dutch still love to eat!) I’ve seen the name of this pastry written Oly Koeken, Vet Ballen, Vet Bollen, Ole Bollen, oliekoecken, and a few other variations. The basic translation, however, is Fat Balls. This pastry is a little blob of dough that is deep fried and then rolled in a paper bag of sugar. I remember LOVING the taste of these treats as a child.
So, this year, in spite of the fact that I don’t eat friend foods but about twice a year, I went looking for Grandma’s Ole Kueken recipe. I found three and each is quite distinct. Here’s the first:
Oly Koeken (Fat Balls)
- 2 1/2 c. lukewarm milk
- 1 cake yeast (I’m thinking this must be a Tablespoon, but I’m not positive)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c. sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 T. butter, measured after you melt it
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1 c. currants or 3/4 c. raisins
- Flour enough to make a batter that can be dropped off the spoon. (I’m estimating that this would be about 5 c.)
Let stand until light, then drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until brown. While these things are still hot, drop them into a brown lunch sack with about a cup of sugar. Shake until thoroughly coated.
Alternatively…drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet. Brush with a little butter and let rise. Bake until golden brown and do the sugar routine as soon as they come out of the oven.