The northern provinces of Groningen and Drenthe have a unique way of celebrating this change. On the last day of the year, the Drenthenaars consume flat, crispy, sweet waffles or cookies called kniepertjes, so called because you have to "knijp" (pinch) the waffle iron shut in order to bake them. On the first day of the new year, they enjoy the same type of waffle, but now rolled up tight (rolletjes). The old year, as in the flat cookie, is now laid before them, having revealed all it had in store. The new year, just like the tightly rolled one, is yet to unfold itself and holds all kinds of mysteries and excitement. So to add some sweetness to the unexpected, they fill these rolls up with sweet whipped cream. What a great way to start a new year!
These waffles are easy to make. Use your ice cream cone maker, or stroopwafel machine or pizzelle to make these. Roll them fast, as they set and crisp up as soon as they cool. This recipe makes approximately 40 waffles.
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted and cool
Pinch of salt
Mix the flour and sugar together, then mix in the egg, the milk, the vanilla and the cinnamon. When all has come together and there are no lumps, stir in the melted butter and the salt. The batter should be thick but pourable. If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time. Let the batter sit for a good fifteen minutes before using it.
Heat up the waffle maker and pour a tablespoon of batter on the hot plate. Close the lid and follow instructions (usually a light will come on or off to let you know the waffle is ready). As these waffles hold more sugar than the regular recipe, keep track of how long it takes for the waffles to be ready. Bake one, let it cool and taste it. Do you want more cinnamon? Then this is a great time to add it! Bake half of the waffles flat.
For the rolled up ones: use the handle of a wooden spoon to roll the cookies on. As soon as you pull the cookie off the hot plate, lay it on the counter, place the handle on one end and roll it up. Press down the handle on the seam for a second or two until the cookie sets, then pull it off the handle. Let it cool further on a plate.
These rolled up ones are great filled with sweet whipped cream, but are just as good without. Happy New Year everyone!!