Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pizzelles

Pizzelle Iron
The cookie on the right is the proper size....the one on the right is too tiny (but delicious)

Pizzelle cookies are famous to Italians and non-Italians alike.  These flat pretty cookies come in all flavors (traditional is anise ) lemon, vanilla, chocolate and are tasty to eat and fun to make.  A batter like dough is made - not as thick as cookie dough, but not as loose as cake batter and tablespoon size balls are placed inside a pizzelle iron and cooked on each side.  Years ago, the iron used to be put over hot coals, but today non-stick electric irons are easy and friendly.  Years ago, pizzelle irons used to be made in the pattern of family crests and the iron would be passed down generation.  
Italians make pizzelles for Christmas, Easter or any occasion, but the actual use and celebration with pizzelles goes back to 700 BC to the "Festival of the Snakes" or Feast Day of San Domenico.  In the village of Colcullo in central Italy (Abruzzo region) the land was overrun with deadly snakes.  Villagers died painfully, lived short lives and it was a hazard.  Years later, through the incorporation of Christianity over the Roman Gods, villagers celebrate the first Thursday in May with the Feast Day of San Domenico and have mass in the morning followed by fireworks, a parade and pizzelles.
Most recipes call for 6 eggs and make a lot of cookies.  Here is a 3 egg recipe that makes about 2 dozen pizzelles.
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 T vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour

Combine melter butter and sugar.  Whip in eggs.  Whip in vanilla and flour and baking soda.
Heat pizzelle iron according to directions.
Add a heaping Tablespoon of batter/dough and close iron.  Cook until it stops steaming.  Remove from iron and cool on a cookie sheet or shape into a bowl shape by inverting it over a pyrex cup or muffin tin.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Ooh I like pizzelles! I have a friend here who used to make them for me for xmas as a gift.

About the tennis, that's great you are coaching! Have they considered having a middle school team, maybe at a "club/noncompetitive level" that would in turn result in high schoolers who were more experienced? Just a thought, but I'm sure time, money, and finding someone to do it is tough.