Christmas is approaching, and I'm trying to ensure that all my cookie recipes are here on the blog. This won't be the first time that I have declared my love for Italian cookies - mainly those that appear at wedding showers. My mother began to make these roughly 30 years ago, after enjoying them at the wedding shower being held for my brother and his wife who is part Italian. My mom's pizzelle appeared only once a year at Xmas. (By the way - why do we do that!? So many of my baking appears only at Xmas - no justifiable reason for that.) These pizzelle are loved by me and son #2 especially, and in recent years, now that I am the one making them, I have corralled him into helping. Truth be told, it can be a one person job - but that's what family memories are made of!
This is from one of my mom's recipe cards, so no idea who the originator is. Pizzelle is one of those recipes where every family has a version (871,000 Google search results). What I like about these is the texture - sort of thin and crisp. Even when home made, I am not fond of pizzelle that is thicker and more soft - sometimes even floppy when you pick it up. They are now also available in grocery stores. You couldn't pay me to eat those. Am also not a fan of those that are iced and/or decorated.
My mother's recipe has a combo of extract flavourings, whereas many online recipes seem to use only one. I have not bothered to experiment since I love these just the way they are! I may one day experiment with chocolate. Maria at She Loves Biscotti is one of my favourite food bloggers. A highlight of our connection was her observation that we had the same pizzelle iron. (You do need to buy that device. I had not known that they had different patterns.) Check out her recipe for a chocolate version. I'll check this year, but this makes about 60 pizzelles; they store well in a tin in a cool place.
- purchase any flavourings you do not have on hand
- bring eggs to room temperature
- measure out dry ingredients and extract mixture
- set up your assembly line - pizzelle maker, scoop, space for bowl of batter, several cooling racks, storage container
6 eggs (large)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
Beat the eggs in a large mixer bowl using the whisk attachment, until they become light yellow and somewhat thickened. Add the sugar and continue beating until well incorporated. Slowly add the oil and continue beating at medium speed until incorporated..
1 TB orange extract
1 TB lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp anise
Mix together and add to the above egg mixture.
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups flour
Quickly whisk the baking powder into the flour, and slowly incorporate this into the egg mixture (above). Add small amounts on low speed, and after each addition increase speed briefly until mixed. You should end up with a fairly thick pancake-like batter. Some online recipes seem to produce more of a thick batter. You could add a bit more flour if you want that kind of consistency - though I have no experience with how that cooks up.
Note that the pizzelle maker I have is about 30 years old. I cannot predict how your maker, especially if new, will perform in the cooking stage. Be prepared to experiment with the first few until you sort out the desired quantity of batter and cooking time. This recipe has yielded about 6 dozen pizzelle (depending on the size).
No matter how carefully you put a measured amount in the centre of the pizzelle maker, it is unlikely that each will result in a perfect circle with perfect edges. Don't be concerned about that!
Method. Pre-heat the pizzelle iron. Mine has a sort of non-stick coating, but it has seen better days – so I spray a bit of "cooking spray" at the beginning and at various moments throughout as needed. My device makes two at a time. Plop the batter in the centre of each design. Close the lid - there may be a fastener that keeps the lid on tight. Then start the count down. Those 21-23 seconds fly by - don't get distracted doing other things.
How much batter? Various instructions say to use one heaping teaspoon of batter. I get success using roughly a tablespoon. More precisely, I (somewhat imprecisely) use a 20 ml scoop - dropping about 15 ml onto the pizzelle maker.. Especially if you're on your own, a scoop is great - no need to fuss with a two-spoon method. Give the batter a stir from time to time.
Timing? The booklet that came with my device specified 30 seconds, but that resulted in a burnt pizzelle. On my machine, 21-23 seconds works best. I use the stop watch feature on my iPhone as the timer - and if you've updated to iOS 11 - you'll notice you can now time "seconds". Use a small off-set spatula to lift them off the device and onto a cooling rack. They are floppy at first bit very quickly dry and crisp up. As successive batches are cooking, I gradually move cooled pizzelles from the cooling rack closest to my workstation to others farther away.
Storage. These store well in metal cookie tins, in a cool place, with parchment or waxed paper between layers. I suspect they'd also freeze well.
Notes and Tips...
- Oil - it could very well be that modern pizzelle makers are so "non stick" that you do not need to use any cooking spray. Am noting here that when you research recipes, you may encounter a debate about whether or not to use oil or butter. For years our family uses a light spray of cooking oil as needed - it's just fine.
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