I finally broke out the Pizzelle Maker that I got as a gift at Christmas. Boy, oh, boy, I sure had fun with it and created an amazing dessert for my first time!

A pizzelle is an Italian waffle cookie. They can be hard and crisp or soft and chewy depending on the recipe you use and how you like them. Pizzelle are popular during Christmas and Easter and are often found at Italian weddings. They are cooked on an iron similar to a waffle maker.

While they are often left flat and eaten like a cookie, the fun part about making pizzelles is the different shapes you can fold them in and the various ingredients you can mix in. For my first attempt, I made the basic recipe that came with my pizzelle baker.

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Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter/margarine, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon anise seed (or use half the amount of an extract)
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

  1. Melt butter and set it aside.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add melted butter and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients and fold until just blended (I did this by folding in half the dry ingredients and then added the second half).
  5. Heat the pizzelle iron.
  6. Place about 1 tablespoon of batter on grid just behind the center of the pattern.
  7. Bake until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds.
  8. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

I used anise extract (half the amount) instead of anise seeds but I could barely taste the flavor. I recommend you add the extract, make a cookie and then add more extract if needed.

As I made each batch, I experimented with shaping them. I had some trouble getting them to look like bowls using an upside down muffin pan. They just kept breaking. But I got down the technique of rolling them into a cannoli shape (I used my baster but anything big and round will work). I tried to free-form some into small cones but really needed something in a cone shape.

Then, because I wanted to do more, I made up a quick batch of a cream cheese filling using 8 ounces of cream cheese, about ½ cup powdered sugar (you can use more, but I didn’t want to make it too sweet) and a teaspoon of vanilla. I crushed some strawberries and added just a small spoonful of sugar and voila, a great dessert.

Now that I know how easy it is to make pizzelles, I am going to try all different flavors of extracts.   And adding the zest from a lemon, lime or orange. Can you just imagine, rum extract with some orange zest. Or omit the extract all together and add 3 tablespoons of cocoa and 3 tablespoons of sugar to the batter. You can even add some finely chopped nuts to the batter. Can’t eat gluten? Try gluten free flour.
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Break out that Pizzelle Baker and amaze your family and friends with your creativity.