When Anna Gordon was in pastry school, she realized that she wanted to put all of her newfound, hard-won knowledge to work going into business for herself, rather than in a restaurant kitchen. Knowing that small business success tends to be buoyed by having a niche, Gordon began experimenting with making stroopwafels, a traditional Dutch cookie that her now-fiancé's family had been asking for.
Chewy waffle cookies that are traditionally set atop a steaming mug of coffee or tea to heat and goo-ify the caramel filling, stroopwafels are "not something you can just whip up," Gordon says. "It takes special equipment and lots of steps." Plus, she was starting more or less from scratch when it came to the recipe. "It's not something that's made at home," even in the Netherlands, she explains. Further complicating matters was the fact that Dutch stroopwafels are made in factories and use preservatives, something Gordon was looking to avoid. "It made it harder to nail down the caramel and get the texture right."
But she triumphed in the end. Tapping into her love of "spices and things that aren't too sweet," Gordon made a cookie that manages to taste both indulgent and kind of wholesome, what her company, The Good Batch, now sells as the Classic Stroopwafel. Once she had the basic recipe in hand, she added a cocoa caramel version, as well as several non-stroopwafel options like oat chocolate chunk cookies and Honey Bears (ground oat and peanut cookies with a housemade honey and sea salt peanut butter filling).
Ideally, she says, she'll have more varieties in regular rotation, but she doesn't see herself venturing too far afield. "I'm a cookie lover," she says. "I love coming up with those."
To buy online or for more information about the seasonal flavors and ice cream sandwiches available at local markets, visit TheGoodBatch.com or follow Gordon's blog.
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