Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stroopwafels

Some things you just don't try at home. It's either too much work, or your palate and mind are so accustomed to a certain (industrialized) flavor that, even if you are willing to go through the trouble of baking yourself, you are never entirely satisfied with the result..... It tastes alright, but it just doesn't have that.... hmmm ....factory-mass-produced-riddled-with-preservatives-kind-of-flavor, you know?

So too, I thought, with the ultra-traditional Dutch stroopwafel. Homemade ones are hard to come by because it's so much easier to grab a packet of ten at the store when you're grocery shopping. But for those of us that grew up in Holland, the sweet perfume of stroopwafels baked fresh at the local market is engrained in our smell-cells. Once a whiff of it hits our nose we follow its lure, much like the Hamelin rats, that leads us to the small waffle cart where a line of salivating children and adults patiently waits their turn. After seeing a waffle cone machine for sale on our local Craigslist I had stroopwafels on my mind........so I purchased the waffle maker, went to work and am pleased to say that the flavor surpasses the factory-made ones! Here is the result!



If you have Dutch friends but have never heard of, or tried stroopwafels, your friends have been holding out on you. Expats jealously guard their stash of stroopwafels, right next to the loot of fruit hail, chocolate flakes and stomped mice. Dutch food is not easy to get a hold off and visitors from abroad will often haul tons of packages of the caramel filled cookies, guaranteeing a warm welcome and a tolerance towards an extended stay.

A stroopwafel is a combination of two cookies and a caramel center. It is said to have originated in the city of Gouda. Since Gouda is also famous for its wonderful cheese, I'll go with that. The Goudese obviously have great taste! The cookies are best when eaten lukewarm, warmed up while resting on the rim of a cup of coffee or tea. Easy to make, stroopwafels will delight everybody in your family, Dutch or not!

Stroopwafels
For the dough
4 1/2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 scant teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup of warm water
2 large eggs
pinch of salt

In a kitchen mixer, mix the flour, yeast, cinnamon and sugar and cut in the butter until it resembles small pellets. Slowly pour in the warm water and allow the dough to start coming together, then add the eggs one at a time. Finally add the pinch of salt and knead the dough for a minute or two until it's nice and solid.

Cover and rest for 30 minutes.

For the caramel
1 cup of brown sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons of pancake syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Melt the sugar and the butter, stirring slowly over a low heat. Add the cinnamon and the pancake syrup and continue to stir until the caramel comes together and slowly bubbles. Keep stirring because at this stage it's easy to burn! Make sure all the sugar has dissolved and your caramel is nice and creamy (Do not try to lick it from the spoon because you'll burn your tongue!) then add the vanilla extract and blend it in. Keep the caramel warm.

Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. It's easiest to weigh the total dough and divide by 20, the pieces should come out at approximately 50 grams each. Roll them into small marbles and cover with a damp cloth, you don't want them to dry out while you're baking!

Heat your waffle cone machine or your pizzelle iron according to instructions. Place one dough ball in the middle, press down the top lid and bake each waffle for approximately 40 seconds. Check to see if it's browned nicely and a little puffed up, remove it from the machine and place it on a flat surface.

Now you have to work fast. As long as the waffle cookie is hot, it's pliable. The moment it cools, it will break on you so make sure you have all the items you need within reach.

Place your hand on top of the cookie and slice it horizontally in two. (If it's too hot, use a pot holder). Since the yeast made the cookie puff up a little bit, this should be easy to do with a sharp, non-serrated knife. Place a generous size dollop of gooey caramel on top of the bottom cookie, replace the top part and gently push down on it so that the caramel spreads. Pick up carefully and put on a rack to cool off, and put the next dough ball in the waffle maker. You'll soon get the hang of it!

Many will cut the edges off the cookie so that it is a uniform and nice round shape. I'm not that particular for home use so I just left them as it was, but did cut some into flowers to have with my afternoon coffee.


27 comments:

  1. How cool that you made your own!!! They looks so professional.
    Fresh they are the best (like you say at the market). As kids we bought a little bag of the bakes scraps that were left over after the baker cut the wafels round. So good!!
    We just had some recently at the market, in a little plastic container, the baker even added some 'stroop' on top and gave a plastic fork to go with it... heaven!

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  2. Yummmm, I remember those scraps, they were the best! Oh sweet memories...... :-)

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  3. That stroopwafel was REALLY GOOD. You sure know how to bake tasty food!!!

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  4. For the pancake syrup, did you use maple syrup or a general store brand? Can I just use corn syrup instead?

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  5. Maria, go with a general store brand, it will work fine. It's not so much for taste as it is for gooey-ness. I have not tried it with corn syrup, but I can't see why that wouldn't work. Give it a go!

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  6. WONDERFUL!!!!! THE BEST RECIPE EVER!!!

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  7. Hello... I'm glad I found your blog! I have a friend who used to live in Amsterdam, but now in Alkmaar and when I visit I always stock up on Stroopwafels! :)

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  8. I am so impressed. We have some Dutch friends who love to keep us supplied with stroopwafels. I've never thought to make them. You make them look too delicious not to try! :)

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  9. PDX-er, welcome to the blog!

    Locavore family, thanks for stopping by again. If your Dutch friends share their stroopwafels with you, you are in good hands. Surprise them with some homemade ones sometime!

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  10. I can't wait to make these. My husband visited Utrecht a few years ago and brought these back and we LOVE them! Just found them sold individually wrapped at World Market but can't wait to try and make these fresh. The kids are in for a treat tonight!

    Thank you so much for the recipe.

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  11. Nicole - you're right, the smell of the fresh baking stroopwafels in the market beats any factory made ones. We used to like to snack on the scraps whilst walking through the market :). Sadly, I doubt I will be buying a machine just to make these - I have enough kitchen equipment, lol.

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  12. Cut into flower shapes!? That's blasphemy. ;)

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  13. Haha, I know it is! And then I baked speculaas in the shape of a heart! I'm such a rebel :-). But they taste good either way, so no worries.

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  14. Thank you so much for this recipe! I always stock up on these when I fly through Amsterdam and have been wanting to try to make them at home for a while. They turned out perfectly...might be all gone before the night is through! :) Thanks again!

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  15. They are becoming more and more available in the UK in coffee shops now, both in big form and in mini bite size form. I still love 'em!

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  16. Why cut the wafel in half--why not just stick two thin ones together?

    Steve

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    1. Ahhh...I like the way you think! But the inside of the wafel is damp and fluffy and will soak up the warm caramel, whereas the outside becomes hard and crunchy. Having said that.....wouldn't hurt to try, right? And how about stacking three together, that way you'd get twice as much caramel! :-)

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  17. Oh I love stoopwafels!! I make my own too and they absolutely transport me back to Nederland!! I found that it is easier to make all of the wafels, slicing as I pull them off of the iron. Once they are all cooked then I whip up the stroop for the middles. You aren't quite as rushed that way!

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  18. love this stroopwafles, just curious what they mix to have inviting smell.i tried to make one but cant get the right smell of a fresh make wafle.does any one knows here who can help me

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  19. I made these. I was so disappointed, mine were tough chewy instead of crisp chewy. The taste is great, but the texture was all wrong. I'll try again sometime with double the butter.

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  20. I have made these a few times now. the first time my dough was tough and it was hard to not over cook them. Since then I have figured out how to keep the dough from drying out. My family loves them! Thanks for the recipe! Mine are still not as good as in the market at Gouda but pretty close!

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  21. Oh dear, pancake syrup in the filling?? I have my Oma's recipe and my mom's stroopwaffel iron and the filling should have Dutch Stroop in it. You can buy this at a shop selling Dutch goodies. It's worth looking for. I can't imagine that pancake syrup would come close to the taste of Dutch stroop.

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    1. Caroline, the stroop in the stroopwafel is the equivalent of schenkstroop or pancake syrup, not appelstroop if that is what you mean with Dutch stroop. The closest thing to suikerstroop or schenkstroop is pancake syrup, which is why I use it in the recipe. I would love to hear of your oma's recipe with appelstroop though, sounds interesting!

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  22. Please advise, what is AP flour? Left Holland for Australia when I was 8, but still remember so much of the Dutch food. Pancake syrup, is that similar to maple syrup? Many thanks, love the site. Corry Dobson

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    1. Hello Corry, AP flour is all-purpose flour. In Australia, it would be plain flour. For pancake syrup, you could try using golden syrup or treacle, although I have not tried that myself.

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