Sunday, March 27, 2016

Our million $$ idea (the one that got away)

Back in 2007 or 2008, a friend of mine was working in Amsterdam. She came to visit, and brought us a heavy, aromatic stack of stroopwafel. My husband and I had to ration them out -- allowing just one cookie at a time with a big mug of tea or coffee. Both of us were training for various endurance events, and discussed just how great these cookies would be as a during-run or on-the-bike food.

But law school got in the way, and we never managed to bring stroopwafel to the athletic masses. Turns out, however, that other folks had the same idea (oh, Lance...). Fortune could have been ours!

Needless to say, we were pretty darn excited by this month's stroopwafel challenge. We briefly considered buying our own waffle cookie iron from amazon, but our law firm's quirky culinary side came through, and one of our co-workers had a pizzelle iron to lend us.

The delicious dough came together quickly. We channeled our Great British Baking Show compatriots and doled out precisely the same amount for each cookie.

Our pizzelle iron didn't have an instruction manual, and the "red light" "green light" sequence left something to be desired in terms of obvious meaning. Despite some uneven browning, however, our cookies came out perfectly -- puffy, easy to cut, and nearly perfect in shape.

Erica whipped up some amazing butterscotch, and we quickly assembled the stroopwafels. So very tasty, especially with a cup of coffee (or a long run). While I tend to avoid one-purpose kitchen equipment, I do have a pizzelle iron in my amazon checkout cart right now...

Recipe: Traditional Stroopwafel
Servings: 24
For the Wafels:
1/2 cup / 120ml warm water (105-110°F / 40-43°C)
1/4 ounce / 7g / 1 envelope active dry yeast (regular, not quick rise)
1/2 cup / 100g granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup / 2 sticks / 8 ounces / 225g unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
4 cups / 500g all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Stroop Filling:
1 1/2 cups / 300g brown sugar, packed
1 cup / 2 sticks / 8 ounces / 225g unsalted butter
1/3 cup / 80ml dark corn syrup (see note below)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Oil spray for cookie press
Admin’s note: The role of corn syrup in cooked sugar recipes is to reduce the risk of crystallization, but dark corn syrup is a North American product that can be hard to find elsewhere. In that case, here are some possible substitutions for 1/3 cup / 80ml dark corn syrup:
1/4 cup / 60ml light corn syrup plus 4 teaspoons/ 20ml molasses
1/3 cup / 80ml molasses
2/5 cup / 80g packed brown sugar mixed with 4 teaspoons / 20ml hot water
In a stand mixer bowl combine water, yeast, a pinch of sugar from the ½ cup and salt. When the yeast is foamy (about 3 minutes) add the remaining sugar and butter, blend together. Add the eggs and mix. Add the flour and cinnamon. Mix one minute beyond just combined. Allow the dough to rest, covered or wrapped in film, while you make the stroop.
In a heavy bottom pan combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Over medium high heat, bring mixture to a boil, not stirring. Attach candy thermometer.
Brush the sugar down from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Bring to 234-240°F / 112-115°C / soft ball stage. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can test it - at this point the syrup dropped in to cold water can be formed in to a soft and flexible ball. Remove from heat, add cinnamon. Stir until smooth.
Preheat waffle iron.
Measure the dough into 24 to 26 x 1 1/2 ounce / 42g balls. Roll into round balls.
Lay out a cutting board, round or decorative cookie cutter, knife, and offset spatula.
In quick order spray the cookie press, put in a ball of dough into each side of the cookie press. Close quickly using pressure to flatten the dough. Timing varies for each iron, roughly 1-3 minutes, allow your cookies to cook. Look for the steam coming from your press to diminish noticeably. You are looking for a dark golden brown. If they are undercooked they will not be crispy when cool. If they are overcooked you cannot split the cookie to fill it.
As soon as the cookie is cooked (it may be puffed, if you’re lucky) cut with the round cutter. This gives you a clean edge to halve the cookie.
Cut it through the middle to make two disks. It will be hot, use a clean tea towel to handle the cookie if necessary.
Spread 1-2 tablespoons stroop onto one half of the cookie, then top with the other half. Allow to cool.
If you move quickly, you can refill the cookie press after you’ve cut and split the cookie. Those cookies can cook while you are filling the ones you just removed from the iron.


Marcellina In Cucina said...

Your stroopwafels look amazing! I instead found them very hard to split. Would love to know what I did wrong. Delicious, though!

Juli Carvi said...

What a nice post and you're going to buy an iron! Way to go! I like that you weighed the dough. Once I bought a scale I had to weigh everything. I really like your site. I'm going to have to dig deeper into it. ~Julianna