A Brief History of the Stroopwafel

Destinations, Eat + Drink

Starting March 27, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will offer three direct flights per week from MSP to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport through October. In honor of the introduction of this new route, Fly presents a look at one of the most delectable claims-to-fame found in the Netherlands. 

           

Tulips. Wooden Clogs. Windmills. Stroopwafels? 

From the moment you step off the plane at Schiphol Airport, you’ll begin to see them everywhere—packaged in neat cylinders in gift shops and grocery stores, pressed fresh in open-air markets and atop coffee cups along the canals. Maybe the aroma will hit you first—sweet and syrupy, with a hint of cinnamon. So what are these tantalizing treats? They’re called stroopwafels and they’re as Dutch as the color orange.

A traditional stroopwafel (syrup waffle) consists of a gooey filling made from brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and molasses sandwiched between two thin, round waffles. While there’s some debate over the exact origin of the stroopwafel, most agree that the first was created in the Dutch city of Gouda as early as 1810, with the first official recipe documented in 1840. The city, more widely known for its cheese, was once home to a baker named Gerard Kamphuisen. Legend has it that one day, Kamphuisen decided to place leftover bits of dough and spices into a waffle press, sweetened the waffle with syrup, and the stroopwafel was born.

Both delicious and cheap to produce, stroopwafels caught on quickly in Gouda but didn’t spread to the rest of the country until the turn of the 20th century. Now, you can find them throughout the Netherlands and the world. Though available pre-packaged, they’re best served fresh. To enjoy a stroopwafel like the Dutch, place one atop your cup of coffee or tea to soften the syrupy center before you dive in.

Feeling ambitious? Take a stab at this traditional stroopwafel recipe! Modern twists on the classic include swapping out the caramel filling for fruit, Nutella or ice cream.

Traditional Dutch Stroopwafel

Serves: 12

Prep time: 1 hour, Total time: 2 hours

Supplies: stroopwafel iron, pizzelle iron or waffle cone maker, kitchen mixer (optional)

Waffle

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 12 cup warm milk
  • 1 pinch salt

Filling

  • 12 cups packed brown sugar
  • 13 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons dark corn syrup, molasses or maple syrup
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Step 1: Mix together flour, cinnamon, sugar, butter, eggs, yeast, milk and salt at medium speed until a stiff dough forms. If mixing by hand, remove when dough starts to stiffen and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Set aside in a bowl to rise for 30-45 min.

Step 2: Heat brown sugar, remaining butter, cinnamon, syrup or molasses and vanilla (optional) in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until all sugar has melted and the filling has thickened slightly.

Step 3: Preheat stroopwafel iron, pizzelle iron or waffle cone maker. Divide dough into evenly sized balls according to the size of your iron. Press dough in iron until waffle is crispy and golden brown. While still warm and pliable, split waffle horizontally and fill. If it’s not possible to split the waffle, put filling between two whole waffles.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 until all dough is used, pour yourself some coffee and enjoy!

           

Don’t have a pizzelle iron in your personal stash of baking supplies? Not to worry. KLM’s new thrice-weekly flights to Amsterdam makes it easier to grab a fresh waffle straight from the source! No matter where you get your fix, here’s a quick tip: Don’t be fooled by the double “o” in stroopwafel—the correct Dutch pronunciation technically has a soft “oh” sound. Eet smakelijk!

The above recipe was compiled with inspiration from All Recipes, Food, The Dutch Table, Sprinkle Bakes and Sinful Southern Sweets.

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