PERFECTLY PLEASING PIZZELLES
Perfectly Pleasing Pizzelles
The pizzelle is a traditional Italian cookie that is flavored and dropped onto an iron and cooked much like a waffle on a waffle iron. The name pizzelle comes from the Italian word “pizze” which means round and flat, just as these cookies turn out to be. In this recipe, you will find that pizzelles are so much more than just a cookie.
I do not recall the exact time and place that I had my first pizzelle. All I know is that I have loved them as far back as I can remember. I ate them with friends in grade school and high school, bought them on a trip to the Italian Market in Philly (Philadelphia, PA) and munched on them while visiting the butcher, cheese and olive shops, and while meandering through the displays of fresh produce on the street, picked them up at the bread counter in the grocery store, and have bought them from an Italian deli in New York to snack on. I have tried anise flavored, orange flavored, vanilla flavored, lemon flavored – all of them delicious. Finally, my husband became tired of me buying them all the time and he bought me a pizzelle iron for my birthday one year. I went crazy making pizzelles…I tried all the flavors….and still I have not picked a favorite. I just love them all. I am going to share with you a small batch pizzelle recipe that is very basic and simple – most, if not all, of the ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen – you WILL need to borrow or buy a pizzelle iron but it will be worth it. The pizzelle is the most versatile little cookie/snacking/dessert treat. You can even make ice cream cones, ice cream cups, cannoli wrappers and little sandwiches out of them. I hope you try them and love them as much as I do!
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ c. sugar
- 1 ½ sticks butter, melted and cooled
- ½ tsp. Sambuca liquor or anise extract
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Pinch salt
In place of the Sambuca or anise extract you can use ½ tsp. of lemon extract & ½ tsp. grated lemon peel ~Or~ ½ tsp. of orange extract & ½ tsp. grated orange peel ~Or~ ½ tsp. of any flavored extract you would like to try, come to think of it, coconut might be delicious - that's the next one I'm going to try - that’s the great thing about them!
NOTE: Be sure to add vanilla no matter what base flavor you are using!
- In a large bowl, whisk together until combined, the eggs and sugar. Add the melted butter and the flavoring, including the vanilla that you wish to use. (You may always add more flavoring if you prefer a stronger flavored cookie.) In a medium bowl mix together your flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until fully mixed together. The mixture will look like a thick cake batter. Preheat your pizzelle iron. Once it is hot, add a tablespoon of the mixture to each pizzelle shape. My iron has 3. (I use a Tablespoon coffee scoop and a small rubber spatula – makes it not so messy). Lower the top of the pizzelle iron and cook until the cookies begin to turn brown or according to your pizzelle iron manufacturer’s instructions. I prefer my cookies to be very light with a hint of golden brown when I remove them so they are softer and more pliable; others prefer them to cook until they are brown and crispy.
- It is completely up to you to decide how you like them. Try them both ways and adjust your iron’s temperature to suit your fancy. When you remove the cookies from the iron they will come out as one large piece, but you just cut around the edges with a knife to get your individual cookies. The extra pieces are good for a little taste so if you need to adjust your flavorings for the next batch you don’t have to eat an entire cookie. It is at this time that you can shape them into cannoli rounds by folding them over on a metal or wood round form or make ice cream/dessert cups by placing the warm cookies into a muffin tin and allowing them to sit until cooled completely. You can also shape them into little mini ice cream cones, if you’d like.
- Some of the things we have done with our pizzelles, besides using them for ice cream cups, cones and dessert cups is obviously as a nice little snack all alone or adding peanut butter and jam, chocolate and marshmallow for a new twist on s'more’s, ice cream sandwiches – which are delicious with homemade ice cream, and spreading nutella and crushed nuts on the top – there is an endless amount of snacking and dessert ideas for the very useful and fun pizzelle – you are only limited by your own wild imagination!