Stroopwafel Cheesecake + Hagelslag Cookies

Dutch-inspired Stroopwaffel Cheesecake // Glazed & Confused
Dutch Hagelslag Cookies // Glazed & Confused

That's right, today you're getting not one, but two Dutch-inspired recipes! And a really long post about the book that ruined my life and why Amsterdam is the greatest place on earth. Read on! 

Dutch-inspired Stroopwaffel Cheesecake // Glazed & Confused

Embarrassing confession time: I've only read three books. Seriously, how sad is that. Outside of all required school reading, the only books I've ever read for pure personal pleasure have been The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Hunger Games, and The Fault in Our Stars. As you can tell, I'm really into dramatic young adult fiction, which is pretty fitting considering that I'm a dramatic young adult. Okay, maybe I'm a little older than 18, but we can let that slide. 

Let's talk about The Fault in Our Stars. The alternate title of this book is The Book I Read in Four Hours Flat. Also: The Book that Left Me Sobbing in my Seat on a Transatlantic Flight and Confused One Too Many Air France Flight Attendants. Or how about: The Book that Killed Me and Made Me Feel All of the Feel Ever to be Felt. Yeah, that one. 

Just in case you have been living under a rock for the past two years, TFIOS is the magnum opus of the brilliant John Green and is the most genuine of love stories of two cancer-stricken teens that meet in a support group. Sounds dreary, right? It's not. I mean, you'll cry about six or seven or fifteen times, but it transcends the usual sappy cancer plot that you're used to. It's wonderfully charming and smart, teaches a lot about both the importance and fragility of life, and makes you want to love the way Gus and Hazel love. It's pretty great. The book was adapted into a major motion picture this summer and was released on DVD this week. I watched it last night and cried... again. (All of the feels, remember?)

I will refrain from posting spoilers on the rare chance that you're one of the few people that aren't familiar with the story/didn't read the book/didn't even bother to see the movie, but a good chunk of the film takes place in Amsterdam. Coincidentally, I bought this book in the Amsterdam airport and read it on the day I left Amsterdam, which left me more emotional damage than I would've liked to boarded a nine hour flight with. Fate, right? 

Dutch-inspired Stroopwaffel Cheesecake // Glazed & Confused
Dutch-inspired Stroopwaffel Cheesecake // Glazed & Confused

Simply put, Amsterdam is my favorite place in the entire world. Never in my life have I been in an environment more perfect. No really, it was like my biggest fantasy had unfolded itself and materialized right before my eyes. The vast history, the unsuspectedly amazing food, the masses of people buzzing past canals on pretty matte black bikes, the beautiful architecture, the boutiques of the de 9 straatjes, everything — it was like my Pinterest boards had come to life. Most importantly, the people. How the hell is everybody so attractive in Amsterdam? No really, it was like the ultimate representation of my "type" appeared before my eyes every time I passed somebody on the street. Hot damn. Get me back there, ASAP. 

In the meantime, let's focus on the food. Since my visit, I have been dreaming up the perfect Dutch-inspired desserts. I've been developing and testing recipes since June and finally found two that I have fallen in love with. Considering the release of The Fault in Our Stars this week, I couldn't think of any time to share my recipes and my love letter to the city that stole my heart. 

Dutch Hagelslag Cookies // Glazed & Confused

First, I decided to make a Dutch-inspired cheesecake, complete with a Daelman's Amsterdam cookie crust, a cinnamon and stroop infused whipped cream, and plenty of stroopwafels for garnish. In case you're unfamiliar with stroopwafels, they are two ultra-thin wafer cookies filled with stroop (a Dutch syrup) or caramel. They serve these hot on the street throughout the city and they are absolutely stupid delicious. Throw them on top of the perfect cheesecake et voila!

But I didn't stop there. (Don't you know me by now?) Amsterdam is full of amazing chocolate shops that sell chocolate anything and everything. But the real star of the Dutch chocolatiers is hagelslag, which is essentially just the Dutch's answer to the chocolate sprinkle. I know what you're thinking, "Graham, they're just sprinkles." Blasphemy! Number one, what's wrong with sprinkles?! If you don't like sprinkles, we can't be friends. Shame on you! Secondly, hagelslag aren't just sprinkles. They're of a much higher quality than the tradition chocolate jimmies available in America; they're actual chocolate, over 35% cacao by law. Essentially chocolate crack. The Dutch traditionally put hagelslag on their morning toast, but I decided that they'd be even more delicious acting as a sprinkly envelope for my favorite sugar cookies.  (Y'know, or straight out of the palm of my hand.)  I can't even begin to express how amazing these cookies are.

Thanks to the geniuses behind World Market, these traditional Dutch ingredients required for recreating these recipes are readily available essentially anywhere. So no excuses, I challenge you to rent The Fault in Our Stars, have an emotional breakdown, and then stuff your sorrows with one (or both!) of these Dutch-inspired desserts. Okay? Okay. :) 

Dutch Hagelslag Cookies // Glazed & Confused

Stroopwafel Cheesecake 

Amsterdam Cookie Crust:
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cinnamon Maple Whipped Cream: 
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • stroopwafels 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, ground cookies, and cinnamon until homogenous. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and an inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Refrigerate crust while making the filling.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure the mixture is thoroughly combined between each addition. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth, about two minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. 

Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with aluminum foil. Place pan in the center of a wide rimmed baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with boiling water, making sure the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until set around the edges but still a bit jiggly in the center. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes before transferring to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together all ingredients until the whipped cream forms desired consistency. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and top with whipped cream and stroopwafels. 


Hagelslag Sugar Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • hagelslag for rolling 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the sugar, sour cream, and melted butter in a large bowl and whisk. The mixture will form a smooth paste. Mix in the vegetable oil. Stir in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Gently fold in the dry ingredients.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes. 

Scoop out tablespoons of dough and roll in hagelslag. Place on baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Eat. Repeat. 

Honeycomb Chocolate Bark

Chocolate Honeycomb Candy Bark // Glazed & Confused

We need to celebrate. I've officially completed three weeks of school without having a mental and/or emotional breakdown. Cue the applause!

Chocolate Honeycomb Candy Bark // Glazed & Confused

No but really, time management is a really terrifying thing. I was so lucky to have had the chance to manipulate my schedule so I could have no classes on Mondays or Fridays this semester. Hooray for four day weekends every week! Still, there are consequences. Like really long days. 

My school days usually look something like this: I wake up at 7 on a good morning, make myself look vaguely presentable, and then head out of the door and begin the hour-long trek to campus. This part of my morning is surprisingly refreshing, mainly due in part to my lip-sync performances to Mariah Carey's Number Ones album, complete with full hand choreography. (Always Be My Baby, Fantasy, and Emotions are part of the three-part encore setlist, just incase you were wondering.) After zigzagging my way through the thirteen song set, I'm pulling into the parking garage at school and off to my classes from 9:30 until 6:10. Then I sprint off campus, because being there for 8 hours is absolutely nauseating, and head back home. When I get back, I shove something down my mouth, and then go straight to the gym because well, I have to balance the sugar out somehow. By 9:30, I'm back home and ready to shower and get into bed. From there, I'll do as much homework I can physically/mentally/emotionally handle before passing out and repeating the cycle the next two days. 

Chocolate Honeycomb Candy Bark // Glazed & Confused

I don't want it to seem like I'm complaining. Baking, blogging, and the food industry are my true passions and nothing makes me happier. But, managing a food blog while juggling school, work, whatever is left of my social life, my health and sanity — it's a lot. But it's what I love, so I find little pockets of time throughout my day that I can devote to keeping my blog afloat: During my lecture classes, I multitask going through my notes, commenting on new blog posts from my favorite bloggers, and managing social media for my site. (Please don't tell my teachers this.) Also, I'm doing this new thing where I (try to) do all of my baking on Fridays. This gives me ample time to test out recipes, binge eat cookie dough, photograph my desserts, and get my posts ready for publication. It doesn't always work out, and by Wednesday night, I'm eager to get back into the kitchen. Sometimes I give in, but this generally leads to a lot of rushing and the inevitable baking fails. (Side note: I'm toying with the idea of creating a new section of the blog called the Cake Graveyard, where I can share my most embarrassing baking fails. Like this really sad cake that took its own life, plunging to her death on my stovetop.) 

A week ago, I made a giant batch of honeycomb candy to use as a cake topping. The cake never got that far, so I repurposed my candy into a chocolate bark. If you haven't had honeycomb candy, shame on you! It's a super easy recipe with a huge payoff. There's even a bit where you throw a bunch of baking soda into your boiling sugar mixture and the whole lot foams up into a huge bubbly mass and you rush to pour it onto a sheet pan. The baking soda helps create the candy's airy and crunchy texture and is pretty much the closest thing to a science experiment you'll ever experience in your own kitchen. The candy is great on it's own, but enveloped in chocolate, it's damn near mind-blowing. 

Chocolate Honeycomb Candy Bark // Glazed & Confused

Honeycomb Chocolate Bark 

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 16 oz. semisweet, dark, or milk chocolate (I used a mixture of 70% dark and Callebaut milk)

In a large pot, combine the sugar, water, honey, and corn syrup over medium hit. Boil the mixture until it reaches 300 F on a candy thermometer, the mixture will be amber in color. Remove from heat. Sift in the baking soda and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Don't be scared, the mixture will foam up a lot. Pour mixture onto a parchment-lined baking pan and let cool. Once cool, break into pieces and set aside.

In a bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate until smooth. Pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Quickly arrange pieces of honeycomb throughout the chocolate. Refrigerate until set. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature or from the refrigerator. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Jello Shots

Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) Jello Shots // Glazed & Confused

Yep, you read that right. Today we're getting #whitegirlwasted.

Did you know that the official first day of fall was a month earlier than usual this year? In case you didn't get the memo, Starbucks has become the lawmaking authority when it comes to the changing seasons. Yeah, forget about the upcoming fall equinox shenanigans — Starbucks decided to debut the Pumpkin Spice Latte a little earlier this year, making August 25th the official first day of fall 2014. I mean, what's fall without seasonal coffee? (Nothing!!!)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) Jello Shots // Glazed & Confused

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is the holy grail of white girls across America. You see, white girls are #obsessed with a lot of things (re: yoga pants, wearing flower crowns at music festivals, #hotdogsorlegs instagrams, monogramming everything), but the PSL trumps them all. The proof is in the internet

Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) Jello Shots // Glazed & Confused
Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) Jello Shots // Glazed & Confused

So I was wondering: What happens when you take all of the components of a PSL and combined them with some gelatin and super cheap whipped cream vodka? Surely, sororities across America will go crazy and probably find a way to make a tutu inspired by it. Or maybe Pinterest's internet servers will spontaneously combust at the sight of these boozed up and miniaturized versions of everybody's fave faux-pumpkin (sorry, but they don't even contain real pumpkin) beverage of choice. 

Whatever happens, these PSL Jello-O Shots are important. V v v important. Not only are they potent enough to get you totally white girl wasted that you will lose your ability to even, but they're totes delicious, too. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) Jello Shots // Glazed & Confused

Pumpkin Spice Latte Jello Shots 

(makes about two dozen 1.5 oz shots)

In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine coffee and gelatin. Allow this mixture to sit for about three minutes before whisking together. Place the mixture over medium heat and add the pumpkin pie spice and condensed milk. Heat the mixture until it begins to boil. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Cool slightly before adding vodka and transferring into shot glasses. Refrigerate until set, this process will usually take a few hours. Top with whipped cream. 

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