Sweet Souvenirs

Most people seek out symbolic or iconic knickknacks to commemorate their travels, but as one might expect, I’m not like most people. Rather, I go out in search of memorable edibles. A trip to the farmer’s market just a few blocks down the street, glowing from a bright but brittle winter sunlight, still has a shocking array of exotic, ripe, gorgeous produce, the likes of which can’t even be found in mainstream markets at home. For the first time in my life, I understood the hype around persimmons, which I wouldn’t have even bothered with if not for the generous samples offered by smiling vendors. Clearly, they know what the good stuff is, so you should take and eat whatever odd fruit they hand you.

Blisteringly hot chestnuts, cracked open with thinly gloved hands in nighttime Christmas markets are likewise an uncommonly good treat. Standing around with locals drinking gluhwein and laughing freely, tossing shells into the combination trashcans/tables, you can’t help but feel a bit of holiday cheer. Even that misshapen glass, filled with mint tea that’s approximately half sugar by weight, provides comfort when said gloves prove too thin to lock out the sub-freezing temperatures. Add in some willing and patient cohorts for company, and those will forever be some of my favorite moments in Germany.

That’s not to say that all of my souvenirs are of the intangible sort. Far from it- This compulsive impulse-shopper was in vegan heaven upon visiting the nearby bio (organic) market, immaculate but well-stocked with exotic natural treats. A poorly packed jar of shiitake streich just barely missed the plane, sadly being tossed after discovery, but less liquid goods like two carefully covered packs of stroopwafles made it through. A treat first introduced to me in the Netherlands over a year ago, it’s not a native German delicacy, but they have a damn good selection of accidentally vegan options. Packages that reassure “ohne milch” and “ohne ei” (without milk, without eggs) are a good place to start, but also be on the lookout for “honig” (honey) which is a common flavoring.

Still, questionably smuggled, accidentally vegan snack packs of 6 wafels only last so long around me, and I didn’t wait long before scheming up how to fill the void when all that remains are those empty wrappers.

Made on a pizzelle maker, the biggest road block in this recipe is simply acquiring the proper equipment. After that, the cookie batter is just a pour-and-stir affair, ready to turn into crisp wafels with just a minute or two on the hot iron. The very same recipe could just as easily be used to make ice cream cones, too; immediately roll up the hot but still pliable wafers around a cone-shaped form, and let cool to a firm, crunchy consistency.

It’s all about the stroop, or syrup, for the finished cookie sandwich, though. A chewy, sticky filling of buttery caramel is what glues the whole treat together, and makes it so utterly irresistible. Once cool, it will set up into a soft but still malleable texture, creating an addictive contrast between easily shattering cookie exterior and toothsome, sweet interior. One bite, and you’ll understand why it’s worthwhile to smuggle them across borders should you ever come across those illustrious vegan versions.

Yield: Makes Approximately 20 – 24 Wafers; 10 – 12 Finished Stroopwafels



A chewy, sticky filling of buttery caramel glues together two crisp waffer cookies to make an utterly irresistible treat. Once cool, it will set up into a soft but still malleable texture, creating an addictive contrast between easily shattering cookie exterior and toothsome, sweet interior.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


Wafer Cookies:

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Flax Seeds, Ground
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons Vegan Butter, Melted
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Caramel Stroop:

  • 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Golden Syrup or Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon


  1. Begin heating you your pizzelle maker first, because the batter comes together very fast. Set out a wire rack to accommodate the finished wafers while you’re at it.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, ground flax, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl, whisking lightly to combine. Mix the melted butter, water, and vanilla briefly in a second container before pouring into the dry ingredients. Stir just enough to bring the batter together without any lumps.
  3. Very lightly grease each side of the pizzelle iron. I like to use a small cookie scoop to ensure even sizes of all of my wafer cookies, but you can also just measure out about 2 – 3 teaspoons of batter per wafel. Try placing it slightly off-center on the iron, just above the middle, because the action of smushing the top iron down tends to spread it outwards.
  4. After securing the lid (usually there’s a latch, which I recommend employing for the thinnest, most even wafers) bake for about 30 – 60 seconds, until golden brown. Quickly pry the cookies loose with a thin metal spatula and transfer to your wire rack. Though floppy at first, they will continue to crisp up as they cool. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  5. Once you have all of the cookies ready and waiting, you can move on to the filling. In a saucepan, stir together and boil the brown sugar, butter, syrup, and cinnamon, until them mixture reaches the soft ball stage (234-240 degrees.) Immediately remove from the heat and waste no time in filling your wafers.
  6. To assemble, spread 1 – 2 teaspoons of the warm caramel syrup over one of the crisp wafer cookies, and top with a second. Be somewhat sparing, as a little bit covers much more than you’d expect, and it tends to squish out the sides if you over-fill. Let cool completely before enjoying.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

48 thoughts on “Sweet Souvenirs

  1. A few weekends ago, I walked with a friend to a kitchen store in a tiny alley in Philadelphia where she assured me I would find cheap pizzelle irons and root beer extract. We got there 2 minutes after they closed, and I have been unable to stop thinking about it. I want a pizzelle iron so badly!

  2. Memorable edibles are definitely the best part of a trip for me too. ;) Paired with a cup of tea, these cookies look like the perfect relaxing afternoon!

  3. When I travel, I love to purchase all kinds of things, including edible items to try from the area. Currently I am living in Japan and I discovered the Japanses style of chocolate cake and if I could take that bake to the states, I would,lol.

  4. This is very fun to read for a Dutchy :) I thought you might like this tip, now that you have your own waffle iron: ‘stroopwafelkruimels’ (syrup waffle crumbs) are also very very yum to eat on their own or to integrate into recipes (for instance: mix with ice cream). In the Netherlands they are sold often at weekly markets.
    Just crumble up the waffles and pour some hot syrup through, that’s all :)
    For pictures of what they should look like, you can just google ‘stroopwafelkruimels’ and click ‘images’. Enjoy!

  5. Traveling is all about the food for me too. While in Spain one of our traveling companions stated that he “would like traveling so much more if it wasn’t for the wierd food and old buildings.”. My husband and I looked at each other, laughed out loud and said those are the reasons we LOVE to travel. I also bring food home as souvenirs…along with dishes and what my husband calls cooking gadgets.

    1. Yes, exactly! And the dishes and gadgets are also the reason why our luggage always ends up about 5x heavier coming home. We’ve learned to pack light so that there’s more space for the fun stuff later. ;)

  6. Hi! Today was my first vist to your blog and your writing is delightful. As I pack to get ready to go to England for Xmas it was refreshing to note that I am not alone in my idea of souveneirs: I am anxiously awaiting my daytrip to the Saturday market in Bath and have been “exploring” restaurants on line. Cheers~Jill

  7. such cute pretty pizzelle cookies.. i love the caramel in there..
    i keep thining of so many gadgets i want.. but i dont have counter space anymore! these look so amazing! pretty pretty crunchy chewy wafels

  8. O.M.G. You just made my LIFE!

    I lived in Germany for 3 years. I drank gluhwein. I went to the Christmas markets. And I fell in love with stroopwafels when I visited Amsterdam. I never thought I’d have them again. THANK YOU!!! <3 <3 <3

  9. Hola! I love stroopwafels, but now I have them always at hand, I live in The Netherlands ;) Your recipe looks fantastic! And the thing I was about to tell you is that I am also a person of memorable edibles, I can help going to a supermarket in any trip to buy some of the local food. It is a great experience to discover new food!

  10. I can’t see myself indulging in a prizelle press anytime soon, but those cookies look oh so good! All I buy when I travel are food goodies, it seems, so I’m with you on that one :)

  11. ANd to think, I was pondering stealing my great aunt’s pizzelle maker from my mother when I go home for Christmas. Now you’ve given me a REAL excuse (other than my own gluttony).

    You’re so right. Food souvenirs are the best kind!

  12. O you made your own stroopwafels!! While ofcourse we can find them everywhere here I’ve never attempted to make them myself but mmm you’re tempting me now!

  13. On my last two overseas trips, each time I’ve bought an entire extra suitcase in New York to fill up with the food I’m bringing back. Over $200 worth of chocolate? Why not.

    So you see, my dear, you’re not the only one who isn’t most people.But then again, you are in the most spectacular way, because you go and recreate your overseas goodies in a way that tastes surely even better than the originals.

  14. Love your blog, Hannah!

    I have a random question and don’t know if you would be able to help me out at all, but I made your Chai Spiced Pistachio Brittle from the Nov/Dec 2009 Vegnews a couple of holidays ago and can’t find the recipe anywhere now! That was seriously the best candy I have ever had and would really love the make it this year! I was wondering if you had the recipe handy? If you can’t give it out for whatever reason, I understand, but thought it would be worth asking! :] Thanks for your time!

    kahalliman @ gmail.com

  15. Oh boy ! I saw the picture of these wafles on tumblr, I clicked to reblog and saw that it was you (I had not check my RSS yet, so I had not seen you posted something new).
    I definitely have to try them, they look so much like Belgian wafles I ate before I turned vegan – and I realize that you discovered them in Netherlands, which is not too far from Belgium.
    I also need to buy a Pizzelle maker, but it is Christmas time so who knows what I might do with the money I will get or if some of my family members ask me what I want.

    I never went to Germany even if I would love too (which makes me think that I said 3 weeks ago I would try to learn German again and I still have not make some time in my schedule to study it on a daily basis … crap – this will be one of my few resolutions for 2012) – however we have Christmas market in France, and hot chestnuts are sold there. This is so wonderfully delicious <3 – even though I do not like when it is too cold because I have a hard time staying warm, I love having those treats ….

  16. Oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted to try Stroopwaffels… and still haven’t. Your trip sounds like it was so fun. I’m going to Munich and Austria next month, so hopefully I’ll have some foodie fun of my own. Of course I’ll mostly be in a tiny town in the Austrian Alps… not exactly a vegan paradise, but I’ll do my best.

    Also, you won one of my holiday cookbooklettes! Send me your mailing address to ameyfm (at) yahoo (dot) com Fun!

  17. A few years ago I bought an electric waffle cone press at a charity shop, and have never used it. I think it will be getting dusted off to make these! I’ll just make one huge circle in the press then quickly cut out smaller ones to make the wafel halves (then eat the leftover bits, of course)

  18. Love your blog! These look so bloody delicious that i am putting the ingredients together right now (the earth balance butter is in the microwave). I will let you know how it turns out. Either i will sing with joy and share these tasty delights with family or eat them all myself. But then i don’t want to spend the rest of my day on the treadmill either! Lol

    1. Unfortunately my pizelle maker doesn’t have a latch so i had to hold it close the entire time. I had to use 2 tbs of batter as opposed to 2 tsp, thus making only about 8 1/2 waffles. Now i am justing waiting for them to cool down. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. I used to love the original stroopwafles so your recupe is just so perfect for me. thanks for sharing this, I will put it on my list! ;-)

  20. Hi I know this is an older post but I’ve been using your recipe and wanted to offer some adjustments to make them more similar to the Dutch versions you would find for example at Albert Heijn:

    Split the wafels! The waffles should be split with a metal spatula to form the sides of the sandwich. It seems hard to do, but when they are hot off the iron it’s easy. That’s how they make them in the Netherlands. Each cookie, split, is one sandwich.

    For the stroop, these quantities are more like the Dutch stroop I’m used to:
    2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
    7 Tbsp Non-Dairy Margarine
    1/2 Cup Golden Syrup
    1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

    Made a batch last night that tasted just great! Thanks again for the vegan cookie recipe!!

  21. Margarine isn’t vegan..unless you get a specificly vegan brand. Might want to make that more clear for newbies or people looking to make it for vegan friends /family

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