These here cookies happen to be ultra super precious to me.
And not just because they have pretty patterns on them.
Pizzeles have been a quintessential part of family gatherings on my dad’s side for as long as I can remember, and probably for as long as he can remember…more than likely, as long as my grandma can remember.
I am proud to say that I learned the art of pizzelles from the master herself, my great-grandmother, better known as GG. To this day, making pizzelles with this 97-year-old little spitfire is truly a test of knowledge and skill. She first allows me to make the doughwithout interruption, then sets in for inspection, man-handling my batter with a big spoon. Without a doubt will always say, “Darcy, what are you doing? This batter is too thin, too too thin. Look at it… it’s like soup! You’re pizzelles are gonna stick for Christ’s sake!”
After the batter is acceptably thickened and I start turning out pizzelles it’s typically, “Darcy, look at the edges of these…all ragged! You’re not centering that dough. And have you even noticed the color of these damn cookies? Uneven. Terrible uneven. How are we gonna give these out looking like this? Stop staring at the television, pay attention to your pizzelles while I try to clean up these edges. You stick those in the reject pile, we’ll have us a little snackee. We’re workin hard in here, ya know?”
We munch and she regales me with how her parents would stay up into the wee hours of the morning mixing pizzelle batter by hand and pressing out dozens and dozens with the old-fashioned, non-electric irons. Then she typically side tracks to other stories of her youth, her parents, her clothes, and her many boyfriends. I love it so very very much.
Man oh man, GG is a pistol for sure, but she’s basically my hero…and I undeniably make my very best pizzelles with her.
Pizzelles are a traditional Italian festivity cookie dating back to the middle ages and remain widely popular to this day.
Understandably so…their light, buttery, vanilla, crispness is a touch on the addictive side. A hefty touch. Actually, more of a slap on the addictive side if you will.
Pizzelles are extremely versatile in the flavor department. You can touch them up with chocolate, maple, rum, or add in some finely ground nuts. Traditionally, a lot of folks include anise seed. I hate anise seed and after some experimentation, have concluded the that the original pizzelle is absolutely perfect in its simplicity.
The dough itself is extremely simple to whip up and you more than likely have everything you need sitting in your kitchen right this very second.
You just need a couple of outside tools for the actual cooking part.
First off, go find a clock with a moving second hand. You need one to precisely time how long you cook the pizzelles for.
Honestly, this was the hardest part of the process for me…apparently we only have one clock in our house. Strange.
Also, you must have a pizzelle iron…it’s kind of like a waffle iron, except not really.
Not exactly a common kitchen appliance, but check around with your friends. Any good Italian should own one.
However like a waffle iron, you have to let a pizzelle press get good and hot before you start slinging batter around.
99.7% of the time, you’re first pair are gonna turn out over-cooked. We refer to these as the “tester batch.” Open the iron and let some of the intense heat escape while you eat these and make sure your cooked dough tastes right, then proceed with the pressing.
When pizzeles first come off the iron they are quite floppy and flexible, so you can mold them into cones or cylinders or little baskets, and fill them with a light filling. Very ornamental. Uh huh.
Quite frankly, pizzelles have sorta become the star of my holiday cookie plate. Friends and family alike start badgering around November as to when I’ll be making the first batch. Not that I mind the badgering in the slightest. The pizzelle is kinda my favored cookie child. I usually make them year-round. We just have abundant fond memories together…I entered my first cook-off with pizzelles, I’ve bribed influential public figures with pizzelles, I’ve shared too many great conversations over pizzelles…and of course, let us not forget priceless pizzelle tutorials with GG.
And well, not to brag or anything…but uh, I’m currently know as one of the top-dog pizzelle-makers in the familia. It’s kind of a big deal. Just saying.
- 3 eggs
- 1 & 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 scant cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar . Add in the cooled melted butter and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients in increments.
Allow your pizzelle iron to heat. The iron will most likely have instructions for use, but once heated drop about a tablespoon of dough just slightly behind the center of each plate. Close iron and allow to cook until lightly browned remove with spatula to a wire rack to cool completely. Pizzelles will harden as they cool. Store in an air tight container.
***Cooking time will vary depending on the iron. It usually spans from 15- 30 seconds. You may have to go through a few batches to get the timing right.