Three words. Great British Bake-Off. Fine four words. I'm sleep deprived and can't tell the difference. GBBO (baking show for the American Netflix crowd) has convinced me to attempt and taste baked goods I would normally never consider otherwise. I've seen mini stroopwafels before at TJ's (under some European brand instead of TJ's private label) but this drown-in-your-coffee-mug-size is new for this holiday season. Quaint packaging and a little GBBO nostalgia made me more than happy to plop down $2.99 for this baby.
Nearly all my stroopwafel knowledge comes courtesy of GBBO, so I must acknowledge that despite that horrendous new trailer, the current season wasn't bad at all. At the very least, I learned that "stroop" means syrup and "wafel" means..waffle (and as informative as that was...the delivery of that line made me miss the OG hosts Mel and Sue. Sigh). Stroopwafels are the national cookie of Holland. Two thin waffle cookies with a layer of stretchy caramel in between. Not something that normally appeals to me but GBBO made me curious.
In my sleep deprived state wanting to capture decent lighting, I forgot to photograph the nutrition facts. While labels are informative, I hope there's enough common sense left in most people to realize that a caramel sandwich cookie bigger than my palm probably isn't a health food. But in case you were curious, each cookie is 190 cal with 10g total fat and 14g of sugar. And the tin contains 8 cookies. This does indeed hail from The Netherlands, so it has some claim to legitimacy. My only comment - they've used a shortening blend in addition to butter and some sugar syrup. Probably not the best for you but probably used for taste and storage/shelf-life purposes.
The day I purchased these, the cashier adjacent to the register where I was advised me to rest these cookies over a hot beverage and allow the steam to melt the caramel. Sure enough, the package also contains the same message.
I've had a few of these now, and I still haven't figured out the optimal timing, mostly because I haven't paid much attention. But the point is to leave it long enough for the caramel to soften and become stretchy and melty but not TOO long such that the biscuit softens. Soggy biscuits are no good, especially if you never intended for them to become soggy in the first place.
This made me think of those rectangular creme wafer cookies for comparison sake- the ones that relied on a really sweet cream in the middle to offset the fact that the cookie itself tasted like a cross between cardboard and styrofoam. I can't believe people brought them to potlucks and piano recital receptions and whatnot...they were disgusting and really didn't have much flavor! We could have been eating stroopwafels! I quite like the texture, especially when the caramel has been steamed just enough over my coffee so that it's stretchy, so when you bite it you get the crispness of the wafel followed by a nice soft center that you sink your teeth into. I sort of wish there was a bit more crispness to the cookie part but I think the current level is just right for the goal here. It's not an Oreo (or a fake oreo). It's supposed to be bendy with a bite. The caramel tastes buttery and sweet without tasting artificial but doesn't have a depth of flavor from molasses or something that would normally be used in a traditional stroopwafel caramel. But who am I to be nitpicky...I like complex flavors but truthfully I've never had a real stroopwafel before this. Also, the size is just right. If they were smaller, I think I'd want to eat a ton of these. If they were bigger, I think I'd be eating a sandwich, not a cookie. These are just right for anytime coffee or tea. Or for friends who come over and eat your cookies while you're gone, which is fine. Totally fine. :)
Now I'm not sure if I like them because they were featured on GBBO or if they're good. I suspect that it is actually the latter, but y'know I can't rule out the possibility of GBBO bias. But when I came home the other day and cracked open the tin and saw only two cookies left, I was like..."A DID YOU EAT MY COOKIES???" You only get defensive and possessive over things that are tasty. And while A has been ambivalent toward these, I couldn't help but notice that he's been enjoying them too. Does this warrant a repurchase? Probable. Mainly because I will never make these myself but I'll probably miss them once they're gone.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Stroopwafel Dutch Caramel Waffle Cookies. Thin and crisp waffle cookies sandwiching a buttery caramel center. If you like sweets and/or caramel, +1 to this rating. 8 out of 10.