Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making Pizzelle Cookies

 Pizzelle are a fabulous cookie made with a iron, similar to a waffle iron.  They are tasty and light and very beautiful. Pizzelles are sold in most grocery stores now, in the bakery section.  They come in many flavors, vanilla, peppermint, chocolate but anise is the traditional variety.
They are quite easy to make and the batter is very easy to handle.  The batter can be made ahead and refrigerated or made and used immediately.
The iron forms beautiful patterns and each iron is different.  Originally, irons were made to be held in the fire or on the stove top.  Amazon still sells stove top irons here. They make one at a time and require patience and a strong arm.  I prefer the electric models, especially the ones that make multiple pizzelles at one time, like here or here. They are non-stick, which makes cooking and cleaning easier, although they still require a coat of oil on the iron.
  Pizzelles make great gifts, bake sale items or snacks. And they pack up beautifully.
 Here is one of my pizzelle irons. I don't believe this model is made anymore.  It is a toastmaster brand International Cookie maker and it makes two pizzelle at a time.
 It is easy to clean and cooks the cookies very quickly - under a minute.
 I think the pizzelle plates are just beautiful!  I don't know which one I like best!
 This model by Villaware is also non stick and makes 2 large pizzelle at at time.  It also cooks quickly and has 2 beautiful plates.
Here is one recipe for Pizzelle.  Some recipes call for the addition of finely chopped nuts, sprinkles or chocolate chips.  I find that it makes it difficult to use in the iron - think about making chocolate chip waffles - where the chocolate touches the iron, it burns. So, if you want to add nuts to the batter, consider grinding them into a powder or even using but butter.

4 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp anise extract
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Mix eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick.  Add vanilla and anise.  Stir in butter.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to egg mixture, just until combined.
Heat pizzelle iron, grease with vegetable oil.
Place a walnut size amount of batter on each plate in the iron.  Close iron. As soon as the steam stops rising from the iron, remove the cookie from the iron and let cool on a rack.  (Or, shape the warm cookie into a bowl shape or a cornucopia or cylinder.)
When cool, store in an airtight container.

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