I fully expected the machine to be single purpose (waffle cone iron = only waffle cones) but I've found it has a second, and maybe even better use for making one of my favorite coffee time treats - stoopwafels!
For those not familiar, stroopwafles are thin cookie-like waffles with a chewy caramel syrup in the center. They hail from the Netherlands, and recently my friend Darla (who happens to live in Nederland) sent me a care package with all kinds of delicious Dutch treats inside. To my delight, authentic stroopwafels were included. They were better, more dense with filling, than the ones I can find locally. That made me curious enough to seek out a stroopwafel recipe. Until now, I'd never dreamed you could make them at home. I'd pondered their thinness while eating one, and figured it defied any tool that inhabited my utensil drawer. To my great surprise, scratch-made stroopwafels are achievable.
If you're interested in making them too, you can find the waffle maker I own here. It's not so awful to store if you keep it in its original box (square things are easier to stack than roundish footed things). Or, if you're a die-hard stroopwafel fanatic, you can buy the genuine article here (though stroopwafel makers seem to be more expensive than their waffle cone counterparts).
The batter is really easy to whip up. It's made with yeast, so it has to stand about 45 minutes before you use it. The dough doesn't raise much, but the yeast definitely adds flavor and helps keep the super thin waffle from tearing when you cut it in half.
It took me a few tries to get the right quantity of dough for the waffle cone maker. Most of the waffles were a little lopsided, so I used a large pastry ring to cut them into 6-inch rounds.
Perhaps the most challenging part of the endeavor is cutting the already thin waffle into two even thinner pieces. You need to do this while the waffle is still hot. I used a large serrated bread knife, and with gentle sawing motions, cut the waffle in two. I found it easiest to position a waffle at the corner of a work surface, that way you can manipulate the movement of the knife easily as you cut.
The filling is easy enough to make in a saucepan on the stove top. I used molasses, though treacle is called for in the recipe (use whichever you prefer, but be forewarned that molasses is a bit stronger-tasting). When mixed with brown sugar and butter, it yields a deliciously rich and chewy filling. I was eating it warm from the saucepan with a spoon.
I love these so much, I already have plans for a cookie butter and caramel-filled version. I urge you to try them if you have the opportunity - or the waffle cone maker - or both.
[click for printable version]
Source: adapted from allrecipes.com
Prep: 1 hour, total time about 2 hours
This is a delicious Dutch treat that goes well with afternoon tea or coffee. The recipe calls for treacle, which is a European ingredient similar to molasses. I used molasses, but it is bolder and darker-tasting than treacle. If you can't find treacle, and would like a milder tasting filling, golden molasses or sorghum syrup may be used instead.
4 1/4 cups/500 g all-purpose flour
1 cup/250 g unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups/226g granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup/ 60 ml lukewarm milk
1 large egg
1 cup/350 g treacle or molasses
3/4 cup/200 g dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the waffles: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, butter, sugar, yeast, milk and egg. Knead with the dough hook attachment until you have a smooth consistent dough. This mixture can also be kneaded in the bowl by hand if you don't have a stand mixer. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and loosely covered it with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place to rise (it won't rise much) for 45 minutes.
Make the filling: Heat the treacle or molasses, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a saucpan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a bubble. When the mixture thickens slightly and the sugar is melted, remove it from the heat.
Preheat a shallow waffle iron (such as a waffle cone, pizzelle, or stroopwafel iron) as directed by the manufacturer's instructions. Knead the dough briefly and divide it into balls the size of a tennis ball (adjust this according to the size of your waffle iron - mine took slightly more dough). Place the ball in the waffle iron and flatten it slightly, then close the lid to cook the waffles until no more steam escapes and the waffle is golden brown.
Remove the waffle carefully with a fork or spatula. Use a round cutter to cut off the edges to make a perfect circle. Carefully split the waffle into two rounds while still hot. Don't wait too long! They'll tear or break if you let them cool before cutting them.
Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling on one of the halves and top with the other half. Repeat with remaining waffles.
Serve the waffles with tea or coffee. Store them in a container that seals air-tight.