Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Italian Pizzelle Cookies, Cones and Bowls

Pizzelles photo null_zpsce731ab8.jpg
Traditional Italian waffle-like cookies with a snowflake or grid design are called "Pizzelle."  They're very thin and delicate offering the "wow" factor for a dessert.

They can be hard and crisp or soft and chewy depending on ingredients and length of time you bake them with a Pizzele Iron Maker.  They can also be made, and quickly shaped while warm into cones or dessert bowls.  When cooled they will harden.

Several years ago I found an electric pizzelle maker at a thrift shop and use most of the batter to make flat ones; then use the rest of the batter to shape a few bowls and cones. I then freeze them in air tight containers to have on hand for a quick dessert.

Serve by filling with fruit, ice cream, Nutella, making ice cream sandwiches, or served simply by dusting with powdered sugar. Can be used for cannoli by shaping into cylinders then filling with creamy ricotta and sugar. 

Pizzelles photo null_zps19e2ca42.jpgTraditional pizzelle calls for anise oil or extract, but I've never tired that and instead use either almond or lemon extract. If wanting chocolate pizzelle add two or three tablespoons of cocoa and a little more sugar to the batter.  Grated lemon or orange zest may also be added.

If you're feeling extra creative try adding peppermint extract and use red or green food coloring in the batter for a holiday treat.  These are pretty and tasty enough with a plain vanilla cook, and fun to make, but tweaking a recipe with new flavors or colors is part of the fun of baking and cooking by making it your own version.

Italian Pizzelle
3 eggs
Pizzelle Maker photo null_zps2b48e6a9.jpg1/2 tsp. anise extract (optional) or almond extract
2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup of melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
*Note, if wanting chocolate Pizzelle add 3 Tablespoons of cocoa and 3 more tablespoons of sugar to recipe

Beat eggs and sugar. Add melted butter, vanilla, and extract.  Sift baking power and flour together then add to egg mixture.  Mix and blend well.

Pizzelles photo null_zpse1e60d0e.jpgBatter will be stiff enough to drop by heaping teaspoons onto a heated pizzelle maker.  Place batter in center of each grid pattern, close maker and bake approximately 25 to 30 seconds.

If flat pizzelle are desired remove with a spatula and cool on a rack on the counter.

To shape into cones or cylinders while warm, use a cone dowel, then cool.  They can also be shaped into small bowls while warm by draping over a small glass and allowed to cool.

This recipe makes approximately 30 pizzelle.  Batter can be refrigerated and used as needed.

Estimated cost of batter: $2.00 or less.