It’s a sweet treat that’s been around for more than 200 years. A stroopwafel which means "syrup waffle" is a wafer cookie made from two thin layers of baked dough joined by a caramel filling.
Typically, a Stroopwafel, or dutch waffles as they are sometimes called, is placed over a hot drink such as coffee or tea to warm the cookie up and soften the syrup that will make the caramel inside a bit gooey. Originally, Dutch Stroopwafel cookies were introduced in Gouda in the late 18th century. Some people still call them “Goudse Wagel” which means “Waffle from Gouda.”
According to historians, the invention of the stroopwafel occurred somewhere around 1810 when baker Gerard Kamphuisen discovered the delicacy when he first opened his bakery. Stroopwaffles were never found outside of Gouda until after 1870. By that time, the city was home to around 100 syrup-waffle bakers. Stroopwafels were originally made from cookie crumbs and any leftover dough with syrup poured over it. They were dubbed a “poor man’s cookie.”
Unlike some other complicated pastry recipes, stroopwafels actually do not require much to make. Over time, bakers have perfected and developed out a recipe that does not rely on leftover crumbs. Now, with just a few basic baking ingredients and a type of waffle iron called a pizzelle, bakers are turning out the stroopwaffels in a simple but yet extraordinary fashion.
Typically a baker will include flour, butter, sugar, yeast, milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon as the usual ingredients for the waffle portion. After the ingredients are assembled, the batter is then pressed in a pizzelle iron, creating a thin cookie that will be sliced into two discs before cooling. Once the cookie is separated, a syrupy caramel concoction is then spread across the surface of the waffle, gluing the two pieces together. Then, one final press of the iron brings both pieces of the cookie together to create the stroopwafel.
After the 1870s, stroopwafels started to appear in other cities around the world and by the 20th century, factory-made stroopwafels were introduced en masse. In 1960, Gouda was home to 17 of these factories alone, including four that still remain open to this day. Today, Stroopwafels are sold internationally by street vendors, or in supermarkets in 85 countries. The popularity has grown so much that since 2016, United Airlines began serving stroopwafels as a breakfast snack on its domestic flights.
Many people have tried to experiment with stroopwafels which can be dipped in chocolate, filled with ice cream, or stuffed with additional ingredients for a less traditional take. The syrup used in the stroopwaffles is sometimes flavored, some bakers have started to create their own twists on the tradition and many still make them by hand to this day.
Once you try a stroopwafel cookie, it will be hard to find a way to take this treat off the list of your favorites. The Dutch waffle treat really combines all of the best elements into one simple cookie. As more Americans continue to learn about the great Stroopwaffle, the demand rises for this delicacy.