My husband has been begging me to make pizzelles for weeks, telling me all about how his grandmother made them every year for Christmas. How an Italian cookie became a Polish family tradition is beyond me...
So I scoured the Internet for a pizzelle recipe and using several different sites created one that sounded like what he'd described. Only problem? We didn't own a pizzelle iron.
Traditionally pizzelles were baked over an open fire, a hot and tedious undertaking. Thank goodness for modern conveniences -- we can now purchase electric pizzelle irons that make baking pizzelles simple and easy. After a little research, I settled on this CucinaPro Non-Stick Pizzelle Baker. Wow, is it ever shiny and pretty!
If you're not a fan of the flavor of anise, a common spice in pizzelles that has a flavor akin to licorice, don't worry. Pizzelles are wonderfully flexible when it comes to both flavoring and shaping them. Vanilla, chocolate, almond, citrus, these are all fabulous flavors to add, and warm pizzelles can be shaped into cones, cannoli, bowls, tacos, and more.
I opted to keep my cookies simple, just flavoring them with Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder and Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. When you're making a recipe as simple as this, high-quality ingredients make all the difference!
Tips for making perfect pizzelles:
- Even though I used a non-stick pizzelle maker, I still recommend misting the molds lightly with oil before the first use.
- Place your tablespoon of batter slightly behind the center of the mold because it will spread forward as you close the lid. It may help to have a second spoon to help scoop the batter off the tablespoon.
- Speaking of closing the lid, do it slowly to allow steam to escape easily and not burn the heck out of your fingers. Don't ask...
- Have a cooling rack easily accessible next to the pizzelle maker. I found the best process for me was to use a wooden spatula to remove the pizzelles from the maker to the cooling rack, start the next batch of pizzelles cooking, and then move the cooled pizzelles to a stack to make room for the next round of hot ones.
- The pizzelles will be very flexible when you remove them from the pizzelle iron. They will stiffen up as they cool. I actually prefer them after they sit for about a day, but they don't often last that long!
- If you want to mold your pizzelles into a different shape, do it while they're still warm and flexible. Get creative!
Making pizzelles on Christmas Eve is a tradition for our family!