Christmas crackle cookies

Brown butter crackle cookies


  • 2 EGGS


  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until foaming. Whisk for 2–3 minutes or until the butter is a deep golden colour. Set aside to cool slightly
  2. Place the butter and rapadura sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and beat on low speed until combined. Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 2 trays with non-stick baking paper.
  4. Sift icing sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll tablespoons of the cookie dough into balls, then roll in the icing sugar to coat.
  5. Place dough balls on prepared trays and bake for 10–12 minutes or until cookies are just golden and set. Set aside on trays to cool.Makes 26


Pannetone Bread Pudding

The best way to use Pannetone over the festive season. Be sure to buy an organic brand if you are able to find it.

125 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
4 tablespoons demarara sugar
750 g panettone
1 vanilla pod
300 ml of double cream
300 ml whole milk
5 large free-range eggs
100 g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Lightly grease an oven-proof dish with butter. Coat the dish with 2 tablespoons demarara sugar.

Thinly cut off the edges of the panettone and use them to coat the base and sides of the dish, press down firmly to create a pastry-like base.

Halve the vanilla pods lengthwise and scrape the seeds out, then put the seeds and the pod in a pan over a medium heat with the cream, milk and butter and simmer for 5 minutes or until the butter has melted.

In the meantime, whisk the eggs and caster sugar in a large bowl for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the warm cream mixture to the bowl  and whisk until combined. Discard the vanilla pod.

Pour a third of the egg mixture into the bottom of the cake and let it soak in for a few minutes.
Tear all remaining panettone into large pieces, leave them for a minute or two in the custard (the more it soaks up, the better!), then place it in to the oven dish. There is no need to be neat about it, you want a  both soft and crispy pieces..

Pour over the remaining custard, soak a little longer if you want and sprinkle with the remaining demarara sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until set. Let the pudding rest for 10 minutes and then serve with cream, custard or ice cream if you want - it is also delicious served cold!

Pheasant with Creamy Brussel Sprouts, Chestnuts and Bacon

With just a few more weeks to go until Christmas, it's time to find ideas of what to serve. This is a delicious main course using pheasant, a great change from the traditional turkey or ham. This dish is also quick and simple to prepare and won't require hours of slaving in the kitchen.

Serves 2

3 pheasant breasts
100 gr pack vacuum packed chestnuts
100 gr lardons
250 gr Brussel sprouts
125 ml tub cream
20 gr cube butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
75 ml red wine
75 ml port

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the Brussel sprouts to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the sprouts to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and fry the lardons until golden brown. Check the pheasant breasts for any shot (little pieces of bullet).

Add the chestnuts and Brussel sprouts and fry for 1 minute. Add the cream, salt and pepper and leave over a low heat.

Season the pheasant breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lay the pheasant, skin-side down in the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Turn over and fry for a further 1 minute (the pheasant breasts should still be pink inside).

Remove the pheasant from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with 75 ml red wine and 75 ml port and reduce until the sauce becomes thicker. Stir 1 cube butter through. Slice the pheasant breasts diagonally. Spoon the creamy Brussel sprouts and chestnuts in the middle of 2 plates. Lay the pheasant on top and spoon over the sauce.

Menno Kroon

We're approaching the end of the November and Christmas is just around the corner. You're probably all starting to think about your decorations for the festive season.

One of our favourite florists in Amsterdam, Menno Kroon is getting us in to the festive mood with the gorgeous flowers and decorations.

Go an have a look for yourselves and get inspired.


Flower Sprouts

Flower sprouts are one of those creations when you fuse two ingredients to create something new. By crossing Brussels sprouts with kale, these new frilly purple sprouts have been created.

The best way to prepare them is by steaming for 3 minutes and seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper. Why not think about using them as a vegetable for Christmas dinner. Be quick, they have a very short season which runs until the end of December.

Hazenpeper - Hare Stew

4 hare legs
1, 5 bottles red wine
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 carrot, diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
200 g celeriac, diced
1 leek, finely chopped
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of rosemary
8 cloves
8 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
olive oil
black pepper
4 slices onbijt cooked (ginger or spice cake), crumbled

Mix together the red wine, peeled garlic cloves, carrot, onion, celeriac, leek, thyme, rosemary, cloves, juniper berries and bay leaves. Add the hare legs and marinate the hare legs for 24- 48 hours.

Remove the hare from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade and keep the vegetables and herbs separately.

Heat a casserole or oven proof pan with some olive oil and a knob of butter. Brown the hare on all sides until nicely caramelised. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the strained vegetables and herbs to the pan and fry for about 5-10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon flour and fry for 1 minute. Pour in the reserved red wine from the marinade, the hare legs and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place in a 140° C oven for about 3 hours until the meat is tender.

Remove the hare from the pan and pour the liquid through a sieve. Pick the meat from the bones.

Bring the sauce to a boil, whisk in the crumbled onbijtkoek (ginger or spice cake) and a knob of butter. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Return the meat to the sauce to reheat.

Serve the hare stew with creamy mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage.

The stew also freezes well and can be made ahead of time.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours


This is a recipe we've adapted from Jamie Oliver for making your gravy ahead of time. It's really brilliant!

Makes 1 litre

2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly sliced
2 onions, peeled and quartered
5 fresh bay leaves
5 fresh sage leaves
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 star anise
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
8 chicken wings
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons plain flour
60 ml port
2 heaped dessert spoons cranberry sauce, for finishing

Preheat the oven to 200º C. Put the vegetables, herbs and star anise into a roasting tray. Scatter the bacon on top. Cut the chicken wings in half to help release more of their flavour. Put them in the pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over a few pinches of salt and pepper then toss everything together and put the tray in the oven to cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Take the pan out of the oven, and put it on a hob over a low heat and use a potato masher break everything up. Keep mashing, moving and scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you go. Gradually mix in the flour to thicken the mixture. The longer you let everything fry, the darker your gravy will be. When the flour is combined add the port and cook until it has almost all but disappeared. Pour in 2 litres of hot water, turn the heat up and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, till thickened, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When it's reached the consistency you're looking for, check the seasoning then push it through a sieve into a large bowl. Really push and mash everything through so you get as much flavour as possible. Discard anything left behind. Once it has cooled down to room temperature put it into containers or freezer bags and pop it in your freezer. You'll finish it off on Christmas Day.

Finishing the gravy
To finish the gravy, take your it out of the freezer when you're ready to cook your turkey. That way, it will defrost as your turkey cooks. When the turkey is perfectly cooked, put a carving fork inside the cavity and use that to pick the bird up and tilt it over the pan so all of the juices inside run out.

Spoon away as much of the fat as possible, then pour your pre-made gravy into the pan with the rest of the turkey juices. Bring it to the boil over the hob and scrape all those flavourful bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan. Have a taste then add the cranberry sauce. It won't taste sweet but it will add a wicked background flavour.

Once your gravy is piping hot, strain it through a sieve and into a pan. Leave that on the lowest heat to keep warm until you're ready to serve. Skim away any fat that rises to the top and add any extra resting juices from the turkey before serving.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours

delicious. Magazine Christmas Special 2013

As the chefs at Bilder & de Clercq, we were asked by delicious. Magazine to create a Christmas menu in their festive December issue for 2013. This is the result.

eric van lokven (opening) STYLING CYN FerDINANDUS, maaike koorman (opening) 
wijntips ellen dekkers PRODUCTIE MURIëL SCHRIJN M.M.V. BILDER & DE CLERCQ, Amsterdam