As the daughter of a Belgian, I know about St. Nicholas Day — the day on which St. Nicholas roams the countryside, leaving toys and treats in the stockings or shoes of good little boys and girls who have left them out the night before to be filled. In many countries, December 6 is a day of feasting, much like many other days of the festive season. One particular Belgian treat we’ve kept making beyond St. Nicholas Day are delicious stroopwafels — sandwich cookies first made in the Netherlands in 1784.
That’s about as much as I know about St. Nicholas day, but I do know how to make stroopwafels — thin, crisp brown sugar cookies made in special waffle-like molds and sandwiched with syrup, dulce de leche or — non-traditional but delicious — Nutella. We make these every holiday season, and the production of making them is half the fun. If you set your stroopwafel on top of your mug of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, its warmth keeps the syrup (or Nutella) soft and warm. Happy St. Nicholas Day!
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
pinch cinnamon (optional)
Any kind of spreadable caramel sauce, dulce de leche or Nutella
Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon (if you’re using it) and stir until you have a stiff, sticky dough.
Preheat your pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray it with nonstick spray. Drop batter by rounded spoonfuls onto the iron. Close and cook for about 90 seconds or until steam stops coming out of the iron. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, spread half the cookies with caramel or Nutella and top with a second cookie.