From the name, it doesn't really give anybody a clue of what it actually is. It is a cheese type of cookie, very famous in Indonesia. Judging from its name, I think it was originated from Dutch, when Indonesia was Dutch colony. That's why, many of our foods now are influenced by Dutch.
To be honest, I was never a fan of salty cookies, and this is no exception. When I think of cakes, cookies, desserts, "sweet" is the first thing that comes to mind. When I was in Indonesia, I don't remember having this cookie very often, although this is one of the expensive type of cookies. I would prefer nastar or any other cookies anytime, any day. But, it was the time I haven't been introduced to the beauty and the art of foods.
Last week, I started my search on this kaastengel (hope the spelling is correct ;) ). There are so many recipes out there and there are a couple of methods too. So, after a careful consideration and thoughts :D, I settled on one, hoping that this will turn out very good and could possibly be the first and the last recipe on my search of the ultimate kaastengel.
Before weekend comes, I was in a cheese hunting for cheese. Traditionally, kaastengel is made with Edam cheese, but Gouda can also be used instead or any other aged cheese. It is sealed in somekind of red wax to preserve it, just like Gouda. For my kaastengel, I used about 80% Edam cheese and 20% Parmigiano Reggiano. I was afraid that the taste of the Edam would be way too strong. If you know this cheese, you would know that it has a very strong smell, odd enough to give me a little doubt of using it when I was shredding it. Some people also use 100% Parmesan instead of Edam, it's a matter of taste. They're both not a cheap cheese though. Use the real thing if you want the best result.
I was very pleased with how it turned out. It is strong enough to hold its shape, crisp enough to give you that crunch, and then it would just melt in your mouth. Maybe next time, I would alter the recipe a little. The recipe doesn't use any powdered milk (one of my favorite ingredients), and I love that 'milky' and buttery taste in my cookies :). For a first timer, I surely give this two thumbs up (four if I can, with my toes :P )