Stroopwafels are crisp flat cookies with a thick, sticky caramel sauce sandwiched in between. You can easily buy them at Dutch stores. I’ve never had homemade stroopwafels until I bought my new knieperties iron which in this case is a Norwegian krumkake iron. It is like a waffle iron or an Italian pizzelle iron, but it makes flatter cookies. My mom always made knieperties with her iron, but never tried stroopwafels. I had assumed that to make the stroopwafels you just slapped some caramel sauce between two knieperties cookies and that was it. I was wrong.
I was also surprised that when I mixed up the dough for the first time, the dough was thick and more like cookie dough than waffle batter. The dough has yeast so it puffs up, and when it is done you quickly (very quickly) cut the cookie into two layers and fill that with caramel sauce. This makes every cookie into a neatly matched pair. The cookie quickly hardens when it cools, so you have to be paying full attention when you make these cookies.
The recipes are similar for the dough, but the differences come in with the caramel sauce. Some call for a variety of caramel sauces made with butter, brown sugar, and sometimes molasses. The first time I made the stroopwafels, I made a caramel sauce like this. The second time I thought I would improvise with my favorite homemade Dulce de Leche sauce. This is an easy, rich, creamy caramel sauce, but it is time consuming because it requires eight hours and a slow cooker. This sauce doesn’t thicken as much as a proper stroopwafel, so I will have to try the original method one of these days.
I adapted the dough recipe from The Dutch Table although I used less flour. Whether it is drier here in Edmonton, or the reasonably high elevation, the extra half cup wasn’t necessary.
When you eat them, place them on a hot cup of tea or coffee to soften the caramel before you eat it. The Stuff Dutch People Like website give an excellent tutorial.
4 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup butter
2 tsp. active dry yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
1-2 cans sweetened condensed milk (300 ml)
Two cans will give you more than enough, but if you are making one, it’s worth making an extra, or even two. It’s great with apples or on ice cream.
- Open the cans of sweetened condensed milk. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and wrap elastic band to hold the foil in place. You can do this without opening the can, but cooking a can for a long time builds up pressure and it may burst. I have done it successfully without opening it, but since I learned this tip, I’ve opted to reduce risk of harm and a hot caramel mess.
- Place cans in a slow cooker and cover with water. Cook on Low for about 8 hours. This is where the patience comes in.
- After eight hours, take the cans out. You may need to drain a little excess liquid off the top of the can. The condensed milk should be thick and caramel in colour.
- Cool the caramel sauce while you make the dough. You can also chill the sauce in the fridge if you are not going to use it right away.
- Cut in the butter to the dry ingredients. I find a pastry cutter is more effective than my mixer at this point.
- Mix the warm water and eggs with the dry ingredients. It should form a thick dough similar to a cookie dough.
- Heat up your knieperties iron. I find a mid-temperature creates a lovely, golden colour.
- Portion out about 50 grams or tablespoons of dough. I tried a smaller cookie, but I found it harder to slice in half.
- Place the dough in the iron and press down. Let dough cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will depend on your iron and you will get a feel for it. It should be a lightly golden colour. If you check, don’t move the cookie, and you should be able to cook longer without messing up the decorative pattern.
- Take the cookie out and immediately slice it into two layers with a sharp knife. I wear an oven mitt to hold the cookie, because I am a wimp about heat. If you wait to cut the cookie, it will get hard and you will not be able to slice it.
- Place a tablespoon or two of caramel sauce on one half. Place the second half on top and press gently to spread out the sauce.
- Let the cookie cool completely on a wire rack.
- Store flat so the sauce doesn’t drip out. Don’t stack them too high either because the bottom cookies will lose some of their caramel sauce.
- Try not to eat them all yourself.