New Years Eve food: traditional and whatever else you crave! (We’re talkin’ Olie Koeken, baby!)

For many of us, New Years Eve is the last hurrah of tasty, delicious food before heading into the land of New Years Resolutions. (We have some ideas for delicious, healthy food choices to help your New Years Resolutions along, but more about that later.) We’ve already discussed the classic homemade Hoppin’ John (blackeyed peas) and Collard Greens for good luck and prosperity. Laura and I come from a New Years Eve food tradition that is much less virtuous but a whole lot more fun: Olie Koeken!

Cinnamon, raisins, apple for Olie Koeken

All three of these recipes are for basically the same thing–varying interpretations of the same Dutch pastry. Translated literally, these are Fat Balls or Oil Cakes. We try not to translate anything literally because it definitely takes the fun out of eating these if we think about the meaning too closely. Since Laura and I are spending New Years together this year, a real treat, we plan to indulge in this significant nod to our heritage. Expect us to roll right on into the New Year!  Meanwhile, here are three recipes that my Grandma used frequently

Olie Koeken

Vet Bollena variation

Olie Bollen — yet another variation on a delicious thing

These traditional pastries are absolutely delicious eaten warm and, once a year, worth the calories.

Ole Koeken

This is also a good time to break out the Boeren Jonges that you may have squirreled away a few months ago. The brandied raisins are a nice thing to eat over ice cream or just in a little dish all their own.

raisins for Boeren Jonges

Happy New Years!


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