If you have never tried a stroopwafel, you are in for a treat! After one bite of the thin, waffle cookie with a caramel-like filling, you can not help but be hooked on this Dutch specialty. Legend has it that in the early 19th century a baker from Gouda in the Netherlands combined leftover ingredients to create this culinary delight.
To make the cookie portion of the stroopwafel, you will need either a pizzelle iron or a specific type of waffle maker (the average North American mechanism‚Äôs ridges are to deep for this job). I am going to suggest that you simply buy a package of Belgium waffle butter cookies to prepare your very first batch (you can find these at stores like Trader Joe‚Äôs or Whole Foods). Then after preparing the following filling, you can take the sweet to the next level by following a recipe like this one at dianasdesserts.com.
Yield: 15 cookies
Set aside: 2 packages of Belgium Butter Cookies (there should be about 30 total)
1/2 cup golden syrup (this comes in a little tin can and can be found at the same store as where you purchase the cookies)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat all the above filling ingredients in a saucepan over medium until it begins to boil, and then lower the temperature a bit (not quite to medium low).
Continue simmering until it has reached soft ball stage (about 235-245 degrees Fahrenheit). If you don‚Äôt have a candy thermometer, the liquid will begin thickening (large bubbles begin forming and they are a lighter caramel color) after approximately 5 minutes. With a spoon, allow a few drops of the hot mixture to drip into a cold bowl of water. If the syrup filling is ready, it will keep a ball like form while submerged but will lose its shape once it is removed from the water.
Allow the contents to cool a bit (about 10 minutes), so you don‚Äôt burn your fingertips completing the next step.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the filling on one cookie and then gently press the second cookie on top and enjoy!
Outdoor markets, grocery stores and even vending machines sell these fabulous waffle cookies in the Netherlands. A traditional way to enjoy a stroopwafel is to rest one over a steaming cup of tea or coffee to warm it before taking the first bite. Now, if you really want to experience the real deal (the waffle cookie will be softer and absolutely worth the extra work), you will need to book flights to the Netherlands so that you can purchase the golden, caramel filled cookie while it is still warm from the waffle press at an open-aired marketplace.