Mocha magic wins at chocolate festival
Joost Elling has gotten into the habit of charming taste buds with his homemade caramel cookies. The recent Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival was no exception, as the Indian River High School senior won a grand prize in the teenage division for a rich mocha sandwich cookie sweetened with caramel.
“Everyone loves chocolate, and a little bit of coffee flavor’s only going to help,” he said he decided, and then he drizzled everything in “white chocolate, which stands out really well.”
The journey to his grand prize began when he was 13, visiting family in the Netherlands and first tasting the sweet stroopwafel (“strope-waffle” is Dutch for caramel cookie). Home again in Ocean View, he developed a recipe for the thin cookie and recently founded Joost Wafel Co., which sells them in small batches.
As always, he tested the Chocolate Festival recipe on family and friends beforehand.
But having a lacrosse tournament during the Chocolate Festival, Elling didn’t even get to see the success firsthand as he won the teen cookie competition and, with the highest overall score, took the teen grand prize. There were approximately 250 entries in the contest, competing at seven levels for seven types of dessert (such as pies, cookies, showpiece and more).
Elling is no stranger to the festival, as he won the 2013 amateur division (prior to the creation of the new teen division) with his original caramel cookie, drizzled in Dutch chocolate. That success inspired him to get serious about entrepreneurial sweets.
He hopes to enter the contest again, testing a new recipe in the future.
Until then, Elling will keep creating the artisanal cookies, baked four at a time in a special iron, hand cut and layered with caramel.
Already invited to cook during evenings at Turtle Beach Café, Elling hopes to sell the cookies fresh at the boardwalk eatery and other area locations, perhaps doing another demo day at McCabe’s Gourmet Market.