In a world of overwhelming choice, sometimes having a single option is better than a thousand. This is demonstrated quite perfectly by Van Staple Koekmakerij, a little shop that sells just one type of cookie.
But limiting supply is a fiendishly clever marketing ploy especially when a cookie’s reputation is so good that people queue to get hold of it whilst still warm and before it sells out. Indeed on our visit, a customer who was desperate to buy ten boxes of biscuity delights was turned down – they simply can’t make them fast enough in the traditional on-site oven.
After trialling countless recipes, Vera van Stapele eventually hit gold. Made from high quality dough, rich with Valrhona cocoa, the crisp outside disguises a squidgy melted white chocolate centre. Cookies are baked throughout the day and appear every 20 minutes whilst staff in the teeny shop roll out new dough batches stuffed with chocolatey centres and tie up boxes with blue bows and gold stickers.
The gorgeous little shop styled to look like the Amsterdam of old has a line outside from the minute it opens. As with so many good things, its been “discovered”. I almost decided to leave it off the blog as I love to point out places that you might not otherwise know about, and the number of tourists in the queue suggests that in this instance, the cat is well and truly out the bag. Ours weren’t quite the only Dutch voices in the line but we were certainly in the minority. That said, this place deserves its reputation. The cookies are absolutely delicious, and they won us over completely when our boys were invited to bury their arms deep into a traditional lucky dip drawer and pull out a treat each.
If you’re going to queue alongside other tourists, you might as well do it when what’s on offer is at least of the very highest quality.
(And whilst you’re in the area, why not check out one of Amsterdam’s other best biscuits by heading down the road for a freshly-made plate-sized stroopwafel at Lanskroon.)