Stroopwafels (strope-wahfels) are surely one of the yummiest Dutch treats so far as I’m concerned. Caramel filling sandwiched inbetween two ultra thin wafers – what’s not to love?!
They were a rare treat for us growing up, but thankfully they’re readily accessible these days, at least here in New Zealand. So scrumptious are they that I thought I just had to try making them, so when I saw an ice-cream waffle maker go on sale (which is the next best thing to a genuine stroopwafel iron), I pounced on it.
Funnily enough, the recipe came with the waffle maker (thanks Russell Hobbs!), though I did make a couple of changes to the caramel filling to try and approximate the filling in the imported versions.
As it turns out, they’re dead simple to make. They’re made with a yeasted dough (that was news to me) which is then cooked in aforementioned waffle maker. The slightly tricky bit is that you have to slice the thin waffle in two horizontally – almost impossible, I thought initially but, as it turns out, quite doable so long as you have a steady hand.
It’s pretty difficult to describe the taste and texture of a stroopwafel to someone who hasn’t tasted one before. The exterior is pretty much the same as an ice cream waffle – though they’re not meant to be brittle, but rather a little soft and chewy. The cinnamon flavoured caramel inside is sweet (obviously), dark, and very gooey – it’s made generally with a brown sugar/treacle or molasses combo which is the closest approximation to the Dutch keukenstroop. If you’re not a fan of treacle or molasses, just use extra brown sugar instead.
I was amazed at how good my home-made stroopwafels turned out to be. Okay, the taste and texture may not be exactly the same as the Dutch imports (they have very specific ingredients there that we can’t source here), but they’re pretty darned close and sinfully delicious.
The best way to enjoy them is with a strong cup of tea or coffee (which is needed to cut back the sweetness) – the Dutch tend to drink them with coffee and rest the cookie on top of the hot drink, allowing the caramel to soften up. I haven’t tried that personally, but it sounds pretty good to me. Enjoy!
- 1-1/3 cup plain flour
- 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup treacle or molasses (if you don't have treacle, you can replace with extra 1/2 cup brown sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Knead gently until dough comes together in a smooth ball. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes (you'll find it barely rises).
- Melt butter in a heavy-based pan over moderately low heat. Add sugar and treacle (if using) and stir with a large metal spoon until dissolved. Increase the heat and cook for an extra minute - the caramel should be thick and dark. Remove from heat.
- Stir in cinnamon and salt and set aside to cool. You'll find that as the caramel cools it will become toffee like, but still spreadable.
- Divide dough into 12 even portions (I weighed the whole amount and divided by 12 to get exact portions). Roll each portion into a ball.
- Heat your waffle maker and when ready, place a ball of dough in the centre of the waffle plate.
- Close lid, pressing to flatten the dough (you will need to practice with one to ensure it's thick enough to slice in two horizontally). Cook for around 4 minutes (I went with 4-1/2 minutes) or until the waffle is golden brown.
- Carefully remove hot waffle with a spatula. Let it sit for a moment to cool slightly, then carefully slice through the waffle horizontally to get two even pieces (I held the cookie down with a paper towel with my left hand (to avoid burns).
- If you like a nice round cookie, cut each slice with an appropriately sized cookie cutter (mine were 3-1/2 inch).
- Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cooled, spread a teaspoon or so of the filling over one half, then sandwich with the other half.
- Repeat with remaining dough and caramel filling. Store in an airtight container.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting