Carrying on with our Netherlands theme. Stuffed Monkeys were introduced into the UK by a Dutch baker in London. However, these delicacies were predominantly made in northern England. I was first introduced to them in the early 1970’s. After shul on a winter’s Friday night I went to have a cup of tea at a friends apartment. His, Sunderland born, mother brought out a plate of these delicious treats. A worthy preamble to any Shabbat dinner Come on our Netherlands cruise this coming August and you can try them for yourselves.
For the filling (stuffing):
- 50 g raisins or sultanas
- 25 g currants
- 25 g mixed candied peel, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon smooth fruit jam
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the dough:
- 1 egg
- 50 g caster sugar
- 25 g light brown sugar
- 65 ml vegetable oil
- 200 g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 teaspoon granulated sugar to sprinkle
- Combine the raisins, currants and candied peel in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of hot water from the kettle. Cover and microwave for 1 minute, then remove the lid, and stir until the fruit has absorbed the liquid
- Whisk together the egg, both sugars and the oil until well combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and mix well to give a soft dough.
- Tip out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly for a few moments. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Wrap in saran wrap) and leave in the fridge to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Add the jam/marmalade and cinnamon to the dried fruit mixture. Mix everything well until thoroughly combined.
- After about 15 minutes, remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle, about 6mm (¼ inch) thick. Trim the edges to give a long strip approximately 8-10cm (3-4 inches) wide.
- Lightly brush one long edge of the dough strip with water. Spread about ⅔-¾ of the prepared filling over the middle of the strip of dough, then carefully lift up one edge and place over the filling. Press the long edges together to seal.
- If desired, brush the top of the roll lightly with a small amount of water and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Cut the roll into approximately 3cm (1¼ inch) pieces – you will need to make sure that you cut right through any raisins or currants. Transfer the pieces to the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between them.
- Bake the stuffed monkeys at 170°C (340°F) for 12-15 minutes, until just starting to lightly colour at the edges – they should not be brown all over. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.