Pizzelles are thin, round waffle-like Italian cookies. They’re cooked on a special little griddle that gives them a crisp texture and imprints them with a delicate floral patter. The traditional pizzelle is flavored with anise extract, which gives the cookies a subtle licorice flavor. I flavored mine with vanilla extract. They’re beautiful to look at, and very tasty to eat. They’re also very versatile little cookies that you can do a lot with once you have them.
The cookies can be eaten plain with coffee or tea, for a start, but if you want to get a little more creative you can use them to make ice cream sandwiches, s’mores or any number of other sandwich-cookie type treats. Although the cookies cool quickly into a crisp finished product, they are very malleable when they come off of the pizzelle maker and are still hot. This means that you can also roll them or fold them into different shapes. When rolled into a tube, pizzelle can be used as cannoli shells, for instance, and piped with a filling of sweetened ricotta cheese.
The only drawback – and I use that word loosely – is that you do need the pizzelle maker to cook these properly. You could experiment with using this as a drop-cookie dough, or rolling it out and using it with cookie cutters, but the machine cooks them from both sides extremely quickly in a way that other cooking methods can’t match. The baker gives them a nice golden brown color in addition to a crisp texture and detailed design.
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat your pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Stir in melted butter and vanilla extract. Sift flour, baking powder and salt over the butter mixture and stir until dough is thick and no streaks of flour remain.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls (using a standard teaspoon measure) onto preheated pizzelle maker and close. Cook until golden brown, adjusting the amount of dough used if necessary to ensure that the pizzelles are round and completely fill the maker’s mold.
Makes about 3 dozen pizzelles