Gaufrettes ~ French-style Waffle Cookies
with Salted Caramel-Cinnamon Filling
(The number of cookies this will yield depends upon the diameter of your pizelle or stroopwafel
I find this dough easiest to mix in my stand mixer, the first stage requires several minutes of beating, then the addition of the flour makes the dough very stiff ~ so I allow the machine to do the work.
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks, or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
4 cups all-purpose flour
Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla until the mixture turns fluffy and very pale, and forms a ribbon that holds its shape.
Add the melted butter and mix well.
Sift in the flour, a little at a time, and mix well to form a smooth dough.
Next, allow the dough to rest. (I leave it right in the mixing bowl and cover the top of the bowl with a clean, barely damp kitchen towel) Allow dough to rest for about 2 hours at room temperature (I've used it at 1 1/2 hours with no problem.)
With your hands, roll the dough into balls, 1-1/2 inches in diameter
Bake in a hot pizelle iron (or stroopwafel iron) he smallest grids until the cookies are golden brown and crisp. Let the cookies cool on a rack and fill when cool; store in airtight containers.
Note: These wafers are delicious without the filling, too.
For The Filling:
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons dark corn syrup (I've used light corn syrup; no notable difference)
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts, optional*
Coarse sea salt (optional)
To Make Filling:
In a saucepan boil the brown sugar, the remaing one cup of the butter, cinnamon, and dark corn syrup until it reaches the soft ball stage (234-240 degrees F 112 -115 degrees C). Stir in ground hazelnuts at this point, if using.
To assemble the cookies:
Best to spread the filling and assemble one at a time, to assure top wafer wil adhere to the filling.
Allow cookies to cool, spread warm filling on one wafer; sprinkle a tiny pinch of coarse sea salt over filling (if desired), top with second wafer. Continue until all wafers are used. When cool store in an airtight container.