Monday, September 18

Prinsjesdag & Royal Cookies

Every third Tuesday of September - as tomorrow - is Prinsjesdag.
Prinsjesdag, literally translated day of the princes, is the official opening of the Dutch parliamentary year. On this day the Queen rides in her Gouden Koets (Golden Coach) all the way through The Hague. She begins her route at the Noordeinde Palace and ends at the Dutch Parliament on het Binnenhof.

Here, in de Ridderzaal, she reads her annual speech in which she introduces the plans of the government, together with the national budget for the Netherlands for the new year.
The name ‘Golden Coach’ is in fact a bit misleading, since the wood is only partially gilded; the rest of it is painted. The carriage is decorated with symbolic motifs and is drawn by eight horses...

Prinsjesdag is a real festive day here in Holland; flags are hanged out and the whole city is orange. (the Royal name is Van Oranje-Nassau… oranje means orange!)
There is carnival, thousands of tourists come to The Hague and…we get a day off from school!
We can go watch the parade, look at the carriage, wave at the queen and - what I especially enjoy - go check out what kind of outfits with big ridiculous matching hats the royals picked out to wear this year! Maybe feathers this year? A pyramid, some vegetables, or simply some fruit?

Because my mother works in the second chamber, (part of the parliament) I grew up very close to all this and is it very fun to walk nonchalant by the tourists, past the security and go inside…!

The year I was 8 (a time where there weren’t terrorist alarms yet) my mum even found a short cut to Het Binnenhof and I could sneak all the way to the front and stand right next to the Golden Coach…=)
I’m not at all pro-royal, but yet I enjoy this day always very much.
Prinsjesdag seemed a good motive (and excuse!) for me to bake something orange, royal and of course, sweet!

I made these royal cookies with orange and ginger.
I adapted them from the classic gingerbreadmans -
added orange zest and orange juice, shaped them into little crowns and decorated them with a simple sugar glaze and orange muisjes.

These cookies are delicious, smell incredible and have a slightly orange hint. They are thin and crispy, a bit buttery and full of flavour. Although the glaze and decorating does give an extra touch, and is fun to do!, they are also delicious just plain.

Royal Orange Ginger Cookies (makes about 2 dozen)
- 420g (3 ½ cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 225g (2 sticks/1 cup) butter, room temperature
- 150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 135 g (¾ cup) packed dark-brown sugar
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 egg
- 70g (¼ cup) unsulfured molasses
- 200g (1 cup) icing sugar
- 1to 2 Tbsp orange juice and 1 Tbsp orange zest

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, both sugars and orange zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses to combine. With mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.

3. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, shape into flattened disks and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line to baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Remove dough from the refrigerator, and let stand until slightly soften. (this will help keep the dough from cracking when rolled.)
On a large piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough thinly out. Place the dough and parchment paper on another baking sheet (or a tray) and freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove dough from freezer, working quickly, cut out large cookies with cookie cutters or your self invented ones with a knife. Using a wide metal spatula (or a cake-slice) transfer cut-outs to prepared baking sheets and bake, rotating sheets halfway through, for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp but not darkened. - they will harden more when they cool! -
Transfer cookies and parchment paper to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate if you want.
Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


sift the icing sugar above a bowl and pour in enough orange juice to get a very thick glace. Add the orange zest and mix well. It is better to get a glace that is too thick than a soft, runny one! Spoon the glace onto the cookies and wait a minute or so till it's completely hard.


Mary said...

Hi Julia - Those cookies are really cute!

Ash said...

Your cookies look great! I wish our kids had a day off school here in Amstelveen :) Maybe we should move to Den Haag :)

gilly said...

Great recipe to celebrate the festivities! The orange and gingerbread combination sounds lovely!

I loved your comments on the outfits and hats! Too funny!

J said...

hi julia, those cookies do indeed look royally good! i adore the way you decorated them - sheer artistry!

Julia said...

Hi Mary! Thanks, I thought so as well…=)

Thanks Ash! A Dutch reader; leuk! Yes you should…it’s nice over here!

Hi Gilly, thanks for your nice comment! - yes, orange was indeed a nice addition…

Thanks J for the compliment…=) - and it was real fun to do! Plus a bit messy with all that sticky icing…hihi

Ivonne said...


I just loved reading this post. It must have been quite the thrill for you to enjoy this day. Love the cookies!

Amelopsis said...

Thank you!
Had to tell you that these cookies are now a holiday standard for me!

if they're tasted, they're loved, and almost impossible to mess up the recipe (I make mine gluten free)

Frohes Fest!!