A Dutch Treat on New Year’s Eve

By / Food / December 26th, 2013 / 1

Even though I’m about as Canadian as they get, my Dutch roots are still evident in small ways – my blonde hair and blue eyes or my love of salted black licorice, which seems to make people queasy. Then there’s New Year’s Eve, when I “Dutch out” on Oliebollen.

Imagine a doughnut, only without all the sugar and icing. Just the warm, fried dough. Add raisins or apple slices to the mix and you have what looks like an oddly shaped dumpling of deliciousness. Cover it in icing sugar to add the necessary sweetness.

Now my mouth is watering.

Oliebollen always brings me right back to my childhood. We would munch on these little balls of delight while waiting for the New Year’s Eve countdown. After moving to Montreal (and subsequently spending New Year’s with my friends) I had a long dry spell of Oliebollenlessness until my mother gave me the recipe (see below).

Just a heads up: according to my mom (and myself, now) one of the reasons that it’s reserved for New Year’s Eve is that it can be time consuming to make and, if you don’t have a deep fryer, can get a bit messy. Keep that in mind if you decide to try this out!


1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp White Sugar
3/4 Cup Warm Water
3 Tbsp Corn Syrup
2 Cups Warm milk (microwave for minute or until feels warm)
1 lb Soaked raisins or sliced apples (these are optional; I don’t usually put anything in my Olie Bolen)
4 Cups Flour (All Purpose)
1 tsp Salt
3 Egg (Beaten)

Phase 1 – Prepare the Yeast

Dissolve sugar in warm water
Pour over yeast
Stir briskly
Let stand 30 minutes

Phase 2 – Combine

Combine eggs, milk, corn syrup, raisins and yeast in a large bowl
Prior to mixing – beat yeast down, drain water from raisins
Sift in flour and salt
Mix for three minutes
Test it – the mixture should lump when you drop it from a spoon.
Adjust the milk or flour so that it lumps instead of runs.
Cover with saran and towel and let sit for 2 hours (not in fridge).

Phase 3 – Fry

Heat oil (turn on deep fryer)
Wait for oil to reach the desired temperature – it’ll pop when you sprinkle water on it
Drop batter into hot oil 1 tablespoon at a time
The balls of dough will flip when the bottom side is brown.
Wait a few seconds (there may be some trial and error here).
Remove from oil.
Set on a paper towel lined plate (to remove excess oil).
Serve warm.

These are best served warm and dipped in icing sugar.


A freelance writer and editor, Lisa Hoekstra loves learning and trying new things. She can be found with her nose in a book or multiple tabs open on her browser as she researches the latest and greatest in the world of food, style and everything in between.

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