One thing that sucks about living in another country is the lack of familiar comfort food. When I’m sick, I crave Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and a bright pink Maine hotdog just makes a summer BBQ feel complete. I miss impromptu late-night runs to Taco Bell, and breakfast is so much easier when the grocery store stocks egg whites that come pre-separated in a little carton. That said, when I visit the States, my mentality flips and I suddenly notice the absence of my Dutch staples. Most notably, teatime is quite lacking, as stroopwafels are hard to come by in the USA.
What is a stroopwafel?
This, my friends, is a stroop:OK, so maybe they’re not typically that decadent looking, but as they’re a daily staple in my Dutch diet, I’ve gotten a tad inventive over the years.
In the Netherlands, you can easily find stroopwafels at the grocery store, corner-mart, and all the touristy shops. And if you’re feeling super indulgent, you can buy a fresh, pipping hot stroopwafel straight off the iron, from one of Amsterdam’s many street markets.
Stroopwafels are hard to make. Once the batter is mixed and the thin cookie has been baked in the waffle iron, the cookie must then be sliced in half lengthwise, which takes a patient, knowing hand. This step is vital, as a smooth, brown sugar and cinnamon syrup is then slathered between the two cookies before they are sandwiched back together. The best way to eat a stroopwafel is with a hot cup of tea. Place the cookie on top of your mug and let it steam. The caramel in the center will melt and you will be left with a warm, delicious, gooey teatime snack. This is a perfectly acceptable way (and probably the normal-person way) to eat a stroopwafel. However, as I’m a total foodie, I’ve experimented over the years with various ways to deck out a stroop.
Hagelslag are a stroop’s best friend. The Dutch love hagelslag (sprinkles), and frequently eat them on toast for breakfast. I kid you not! I’ve also jumped on the hagelslag bandwagon. However, I prefer to reserve them for sweets.Duopasta is another great Dutch product to mix and match with stroopwafels. It’s basically a hazelnut-vanilla-swirl spread, also intended for toast.You’ve gotta love a smooth, creamy, untouched jar of goodness. There is always a moment of “ahhhh” when your knife first dips the surface.
One of the best and easiest ways to eat a stroopwafel is with a bit of hazelnut spread. Seriously, whip this one out next time you have guests over. Serve it for dessert with some berries and you will be labelled the hostest with the mostest.
Another great 10-second stroopwafel hack is a chocolate chip cookie impostor. Pile on the vanilla spread followed by some big chocolate sprinkles. Or if you have any on hand, try some chocolate chips.
This one might not be super fancy-pants, but it’s delicious, and looks like a chocolate chip cookie wannabe. Sprinkles are the best pick-me-up. If you’ve had a long day and need a happy treat, try some hazelnut spread with rainbow hagelslag!
Another combo I’m super guilty for making quite often is the whipped cream and sprinkle tower. Grab a can of whipped cream. Squirt it on as high as you can stomach, and then give it a light dusting of chocolate sprinkles. Quick, simple, and takes the stroopwafel to a whole new level. As an American, I’m quite partial to peanut butter. So this next stroop-combo is one of my favorites!Lather on the peanut butter.And then chop up a small banana up over the top! Now, you could stop here. But if you were feeling really, really naughty, I would suggest that you put this baby in the microwave for about 15 seconds. This will produce the most melty, delicious dessert ever. Think personal sized peanut butter pie. You can also top this one off with some whipped cream and sprinkles. Always sprinkles.Now, after just recommending the most calorific way to consumer a stroopwafel, I give you something much more dainty and simple. The stroop ‘n jam. Top a stroopwafel with the jelly or jam of your choice and eat up! This version goes particularly well with afternoon tea. Some days I’m a chocolate gal, and other days I can’t be bothered. Another non-chocolate favorite of mine is the vanilla-strawberry stroop. This one is also a crowd pleaser. Simply spread on your vanilla, and top with a bright, fresh strawberry. The last, and most definitely not least recipe up my sleeve is another one of my all time favorites. The stroopwafel sandwich!! Plop on a scoop of ice cream . . . And then give ‘er a lid! This is by far the messiest way to eat a stroopwafel, and it is also one of the best! Too hot to cook on a summer night? Have a salad and then balance it out with an ice cream stroop sandwich! You can make this bad-boy with any flavour you like. My favorite is plane-jane vanilla.And there you have it! Next time you’re in the Netherlands, I highly recommend grabbing a bag of stroops and fancying them up! Berries, chocolate, sprinkles, spreads, vanilla ice cream. . . .the possibilities are endless!
Which one would you try??