Visit any Dutch market and you’ll be led by the nose to a stand that churns out a delicious local delicacy—the stroopwafel. This thin, caramel-filled waffle cookie is an absolutely divine sweet treat and loved by locals and tourists alike. Just make sure to be careful when biting into these syrup cookies while still hot, though, as greedy eaters can earn a scorched palate – yikes! Instead, just take a moment to enjoy the smell, and give this caramel waffle cookie time to cool a bit before digging in.
There are a few things to know before making this stroopwafel recipe: The first, is that since it is made with yeast, you will need to plan accordingly in order to let the dough rise for an hour. The second, is that to create its iconic shape, you will need to use a Palmer Electric Stroopwafel Iron. Lastly, there are a few items that may not be easily found at your local grocery store, so be prepared to source them online. In this day in age, where packages can be easily shipped in two days, there’s nothing to deter you from testing out a homemade version of this Dutch waffle cookie, because there really isn’t anything better than freshly made stroopwafels.
For the cookies:
1 ounce/25 grams fresh yeast cake
1 tablespoon milk (lukewarm)
4.4 ounces/125 grams butter (best-quality roomboter, softened)
2.6 ounces/75 grams caster sugar (or witte basterdsuiker, see note below)
1 large egg (beaten, room temperature)
8.8 ounces/250 grams cake flour (Dutch cake flour or zeeuwse bloem, see note below)
1 teaspoon butter (or as needed to grease waffle iron)
For the filling:
4.6 ounces/200 grams molasses (Dutch molasses syrup or keukenstroop, see note below)
4.4 ounces/125 grams brown sugar (or bruine basterdsuiker, see Note below)
3.5 ounces/100 grams butter (best-quality roomboter)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Make the waffle dough
- In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk.
- Add the butter, caster sugar, and egg.
- Mix and then stir in the flour and salt.
- Cover the dough with a warm, moist dish towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Make the filling
- Warm up the molasses and stir in the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.
- Set aside and allow to cool to lukewarm.
Bake the waffles
- Form dough into large, marble-sized, balls and place on a greased and warmed (but not hot) cookie sheet. The dough balls should not touch each other.
- Again, cover with a warm, moist dish towel and allow to rise for 15 minutes.
- Grease and heat waffle iron.
- Place 1 dough ball in the iron and bake until golden. This should take about 2 minutes in an electric waffle iron or 3 minutes in a stove-top version.
- Working quickly, cut the waffles in half (horizontally), smear with the syrup filling and sandwich the two halves together, pressing lightly.
This is a typical Dutch product that cannot be easily substituted. It is manufactured by adding invert sugar and other ingredients to fine white refined sugar. This mixture helps to achieve certain textural structures and keeps baked goods moist.
There are three varieties, white, brown, and dark brown, called witte basterdsuiker, (licht) bruine basterdsuiker or gele basterdsuiker, and donkerbruine basterdsuiker. It is widely available from Dutch supermarkets and some Dutch grocers on the internet.
This is a finely milled white Dutch cake flour, made from soft wheat. It is described by Dutch Patissier Holtkamp as “a flour rich in enzymes and low in gluten, which is very pliable and elastic.” According to the patissier, this makes the flour suitable for cookies that have to be ultra light and crispy.
What makes this flour different from regular cake flour is that it comes from an area with a sea climate, contains less starch, is moister—with an almost fatty feel—and has less thickening power.
Zeeuwse bloem can be ordered at most bakeries in the Netherlands. Alternatively, go to a good baker where you live and tell them you need a finely milled white flour, made from soft wheat, suitable for cookies.
This is a molasses-colored syrup made from sugar syrup and glucose syrup. This treacly syrup (also called simply stroop) is often enjoyed with pancakes in the Netherlands instead of maple syrup. It is widely available from Dutch supermarkets and Dutch grocers on the Internet.
MORE ABOUT STROOPWAFELS:
Apparently, the first stroopwafels were baked in Gouda (also famous for its cheese) in the late 18th century. They are popular all over the Netherlands today and, while you can buy them abroad, they taste their best freshly made, baked until golden and crispy with a melting caramel center and that familiar warm cinnamony smell of Dutch fairgrounds and markets.
If you’re not lucky enough to enjoy your stroopwafel straight from the waffle iron, simply rest one on top of a hot cup of coffee or tea for a few minutes—it’s an old Dutch trick that works every time.