Let the holiday baking begin! One of my favourite treats this time of year are traditional Italian pizzelle, a light and crisp cookie that resembles a thin waffle.
The story goes that pizzelle originated from the centre of Italy in ancient times to mark annual celebrations. They were baked over an open fire with hot irons and usually embossed with a family crest.
Over time it became tradition to use pizzelle to celebrate any holiday or festive occasion, but inevitably became a staple at Christmas and Easter. Today, the patterns are pretty generic and usually floral on one side a basket weave on the other.
You’ll need a pizzelle maker for this recipe which can usually be purchased at any Italian grocer or ordered online. They are available in electric or stove top versions. While making the batter is easy, the cooking portion does take a bit of time since you are only able to make 1-2 pizzelle at a time, depending on what kind of pizzelle baker you have (although I have seen them with up to 4).
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-3/4 cup of flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
Beat the eggs and sugar. Add butter, vanilla and mix together. Sift the flour and baking powder and add into the mix.
Place a teaspoonful of the batter onto the pizzelle baker and bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you add too much batter, it will ooze out the sides of the pizzelle baker.
Bake for about 3 minutes. Resist taking a peek during the first minute of cooking. When the pizzelle is light brown in colour, take the pizzelle off the iron. Lay them flat onto a baking sheet too cool. Store them in an airtight container.
This is a generic dough recipe for pizzelle but there are so many endless combinations of flavours you can create. Traditionally pizzelle have an anise flavour to them which is made by adding 1 teaspoon of anise seed or 1/2 teaspoon of anise extract to the batter. Or add your favourite liquer. Dust them with icing sugar or dip them in melted chocolate.
Other pizzelle variations include:
- Chocolate: add a tablespoon of cocoa powder into the batter
- Cinnamon: add a tablespoon of cinnamon into the batter
- Pumpkin Spiced: add a tablespoon of pumpkin spice into the batter
We love creating pizzelle sandwiches. Just take one pizzelle, smother one side with Nutella and add another pizzelle overtop.
During the summer, we turn them into ice cream cones. Just remove the pizzelle from the iron and while it’s still hot, fold it into a cone. I throw in a few chocolate chips into the bottom of the cone while it’s still hot. The chips will melt and stop the ice cream from leaking out the bottom of the cone.
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