Most Dutch street food is comfort food – frite (French fries), poffertje (mini pancakes) and bitterballen (battered and fried meatballs) to name a few – with the exception of pickled herring (not sure many people find comfort in raw fish topped with chopped onions and pickles!). My personal favorite in the Netherlands is stroopwafel.
Literally meaning “syrup waffle”, this treat consists of a thin layer of caramel syrup sandwiched between a waffle-like cookie split in half. Stroopwafel are believed to have originated in the Dutch town of Gouda (also known for its cheese) in the 18th century when bakers combined leftover crumbs and spices with syrup. Meant to be eaten with coffee or tea, place a stroopwafel over your hot beverage so that the steam warms the cookie and softens the syrup for an extra gooey effect, plus it will keep your drink from getting cold too quickly.
Now stroopwafel can be found packaged at cafes, grocery stores and even served by some airlines as an in-flight snack. And while it’s nice that they’ve become more mainstream, commercially prepared stroopwafel are not the same as the ones made before your eyes in the Netherlands (which especially warm the core when accompanied by a hot beverage on a gray, drizzly day – as I can personally attest to). So the next best thing was to try to make them fresh at home.
I scoured recipes to find one closest to the stroopwafel I had in the Netherlands and that could be made using a pizzelle iron (you can also use a waffle cone maker or shallow waffle maker, the standard ones are too deep and will not work). The dough was a little on the dense side and slightly flattening the balls before putting them in the iron seemed to help. Practice makes perfect because the last stroopwafel of the batch turned out so much better than the first, and overall the result was as sinful as I remembered it to be! So in honor of my blog’s 4th anniversary here is the recipe for your baking pleasure. Talk about a sweet way to kick off Boarding Pass’ 5th year. :)
Makes 20 cookies
For the dough:
4 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
1 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into chunks
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
- In a bowl combine the flour, yeast, cinnamon and sugar. Cut in the butter using an electric mixer until the mixture resembles small pellets.
- Slowly pour in 1/2 cup warm water and allow the dough to star to come together, then add the eggs one at a time followed by a pinch of salt. Continue to knead the dough for a few more minutes until it forms a solid ball.
- Cover the dough and let rest for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to help the sugar dissolve but stop stirring when it comes to a boil.
- When the sugar begins to take on a dark amber color add the butter, which will cause the mixture to foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted and take the pan off the heat.
- Add the cream and vanilla (if using) and to whisk to incorporate. The mixture will foam up again. Continue to whisk until the caramel sauce is smooth.
- Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes and then pour into a heat-proof container to allow the caramel to cool to room temperature before using. (Note: Don’t worry if the sauce is too thin at first as it will thicken as it cools.)
- Divide the dough into 20 equal sized pieces and roll into balls. Cover the dough balls with a damp kitchen towel so that they don’t dry out. (Note: If you want to be exact you can weigh the dough on a food scale and divide into balls accordingly.)
- Heat waffle or pizzelle iron and place one dough ball in the middle. Press down the cover and allow to bake until golden brown.
- Remove the cookie from the iron and lay it on a flat surface. Cover with a pot holder or kitchen towel and slice horizontally through the middle using a sharp non-serrated knife. (Note: You will need to work fast as the cookie will only be pliable until it cools.)
- Place a generous sized dollop of caramel in the middle of one half of the cookie and top with the other half, gently pushing down so that the caramel spreads. If desired, use a large round cookie cutter to cut any uneven edges.
- Carefully pick up the finished cookie and place it on a rack to completely cool. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
- Serve cookies at room temperature over a hot a beverage or heat in the microwave for 10 second and enjoy!