The taste of the traditional chin chin cookie from Nigeria made me think of the Dutch traditional ‘oliebol’, a donut-type treat eaten in The Netherlands on New Year’s eve. You can have them plain or filled with raisins, currants and candied peel. So for my variation I made a richly filled ‘oliebol style’ version of the Nigerian cookie. I kneaded cinnamon, apple, raisins and candied orange peel through the dough, formed little sticks and rings and deep-fried them golden brown. Very tasty! This cookie is crunchier than a donut and has the delicious fruity flavor of a currant-cinnamon bun. They are best eaten the same day, preferably fresh and hot out of the fryer. Then you will bite into a nice and crunchy outside and find a warm and soft fruity inside. Sprinkle them generously with icing sugar and see if you like this crunchy donut cookie enough to serve as a New Year’s treat!
Crunchy donut cookie
for about 60 cookies
450 grams (3½ cups) flour (+ extra if needed)
175 grams (¾ cups) of sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder (leave this out if you want a completely crunchy cookie)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
75 grams (⅓ cup) butter
25 grams (¼ cup) raisins, finely chopped
25 grams (¼ cup) candied orange peel, finely chopped
½ apple, cut into tiny cubes
175 milliliters (¾ cup) evaporated milk (or use whole milk)
oil for frying
icing sugar for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest.
Add the butter and rub it in the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles very fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg, milk, raisins, candied orange peel and apple and knead into a smooth dough. Add some extra flour if the dough is still sticky. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until 1 cm / ½ inch thick. Cut thin strips with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Form into 5 cm / 2½ inch sticks. Press the ends together to form rings.
Heat about 2-3 cm / 1 inch of oil to 180°C / 360°F in a deep pan. Fry about 8-10 pieces of dough at a time, stirring all the time so the cookies brown on all sides. They will be done in 4-6 min. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
This post is also available in: Dutch