If you’re looking for a sweet, delicious cultural adventure that you can experience abroad or at home, you should try the Dutch waffles called Stroopwafels. These delicious, light caramel desserts make for a great pick-me-up, and go great with tea or coffee. Plus, your kids can enjoy the experience of making something unique to another culture, as well as enjoying the amazing flavor of this simple cookie.
What in the World is a Stroopwafel?
Stroopwafels are Dutch cookies made from two thin layers of waffle dough, with a caramel filling pressed in. Like most waffles, they are pressed into a waffle shape using a traditional waffle iron.
Stroopwafel literally translates to English as “syrup waffle.” These cookies originated in the famous city of Gouda, Netherlands, where the famous cheese also was born. It’s believed that Stroopwafels first made their appearance in that city during the late 18th or early 19th Century.
It’s said that a baker was looking to use up leftover crumbs, and concocted something similar to a Stroopwafel by gluing together these cooked bits with caramel syrup.
Others tell that a baker named Gerard Kamphuisen sometime between 1810 and 1840, when his bakery was open in Gouda, created the delicious waffle cookies.
As time progressed, over 100 Stroopwafel bakeries opened in Gouda. In the 1870s, other bakeries outside of Gouda began producing these amazing, sweet waffle cookies. By the 1960s, there were 17 factories in Gouda alone that made Stroopwafels, and four of them still exist today.
How to Make Stroopwafels
If you haven’t had the privilege of visiting the Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan, you might not have experienced making stroopwafels for yourself yet. But we’ve got a great Stroopwafel recipe for you, and some tips for you as you embark on a cultural adventure in your kitchen.
1. Gather Your Ingredients and Supplies
You’ll need the following items to make your own Dutch caramel waffle cookies.
- 1 tablespoon lukewarm milk
- 75 grams caster sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature and beaten
- 125 grams softened butter
- 25 grams fresh yeast
- 250 grams cake flour
- Additional butter, for greasing the waffle iron
- Pinch of salt
- 125 grams brown sugar
- 200 grams molasses
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 100 grams butter for the caramel syrup
- Waffle iron
- Cookie sheet
- Warm, moist pastry cloth or dish towel
- Knife or spatula
2. Make the Waffles
In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm milk. Add in the beaten egg, caster sugar, and 125 grams of softened butter. Mix these together, and then stir in the salt and flour.
Using the moist cloth or towel, cover the bowl of dough and set aside someplace warm, to rise for about an hour.
3. Make the Filling
Warm up the molasses and stir in the cinnamon, 100 grams of butter, and the brown sugar. Once the ingredients are fully blended, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4. Cook the Waffles
Once the dough has properly risen, and your caramel is ready to be used, start making those waffles. Make the dough into 2 inch balls, and put them on a warm, greased cookie sheet. Don’t let them touch each other, as they will continue to rise. Use that warm, moist cloth to cover the sheet, and let them rest for about 15 minutes.
Once the 15 minutes is over, grease the waffle iron and get the heat going to it. Place one ball of dough on the iron, and press. Let the ball grow and cook until it reaches that perfect golden brown. Then, with a knife or smooth spatula, remove the waffle from the iron.
5. Turn the Waffles into Caramel Filled Cookies
Quickly cut the waffle in half, and smear one side with the caramel syrup filling you made earlier. Sandwich the cookies together, pressing gently to get them to stick.
Repeat until all of your waffles are cooked and filled.
Ideas for Your Stroopwafels
If you’re looking for a fun party activity for your next international food night at school or church, or your own home, you can make some Stroopwafels. We’ve given you a great recipe, but you can, of course, find other variations of this cookie recipe online.
Once you do the basic preparations of making the dough and filling, you can invite your guests to get in on the fun and make the waffles on the iron, cut them, and spread them with delicious sweetness. Or, you can cook up a bunch, and serve with a hot beverage.
Be sure to teach your guests the Dutch trick of placing their Stroopwafels over the top of their cups to keep the cookies warm until they’re ready to eat them.