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Pizzelle - A classic Italian cookie


Are you tired of the same old cookie, of just chocolate and peanut butter? Not anymore, here is a delicious, classic, Italian pizzelle cookie that is worth trying. These cookies are basically a thin, crispy waffle, with a lovely flavor. And if you don’t like anise just leave it out, or swap it with vanilla and you will have something very different for a change.


Growing up with an Italian aunt these cookies were made at least once a year in our family. I can remember walking into her home and the very distinct smell of anise filled the house. I think you could even smell it from the porch. Back then I hated anise and could not stand the smell, so she would make me some with just vanilla extract. As I have gotten older, I have grown to appreciate the taste and smell of anise and now it brings back many fond memories of these classic Italian pizzelle cookies.


If you haven't ever tried anise then it is most similar to a black licorice in flavor. The quality of the anise that is used matters for this recipe. We use anise oil not extract because we like the strong flavor, that is what the original recipe called for, back when finding the oil in an old Italian market on the corner was common. The extract will not give you as strong of a flavor, but will work if it is all you can find.


Committing to purchasing a pizzelle iron is another complication to this recipe, but sometimes you can find one that functions as both a waffle and a pizzelle iron in one. The plates just flip over and you have a multi-use appliance. If you are unsure if you will like them, then purchase some store bought pizzelles and try them before making them yourself. The taste of homemade will be much better than store bought, but it will still give you the idea. Making all the pizzelles that this recipe makes will take time, but the recipe can be cut in half or quartered if you don't have an hour or more to make them. You can also refrigerate the batter until the next day if you don't have time to finish in one sitting. These cookies keep very well if stored in a sealed container. It was common in my house to find a container of pizzelles in the back of the cabinet that were months old and they still tasted better than any store bought cookie I ever ate.


Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs

  • 1cup oil (I have used olive or fractionated coconut oil)

  • 1 cup butter melted

  • 2-3 tsp. Anise oil (depending on how strong you want it.)

  • 2 ½ cups sugar

  • 5-6 cups of flour

  • If you don't like anise. leave it out and add 2 tsp. Vanilla or orange oil instead


Directions:


  • Use a large mixing bowl and in it combine all the wet ingredients, except the flavoring oils, then add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. This will require a sturdy spoon! Make sure to get all the sugar and flour combined before adding the flavoring oil. At this point, if you want to make two different varieties of pizzelles divide the batter into two bowls and add a different flavor to each bowl. After mixing everything together, heat up the pizzelle iron and brush both sides with oil.

  • Place some of the dough, about a tablespoon full, in the middle of the iron. Be careful not to put to much or it will ooze out the sides of the iron. Close the lid and let each cookie cook for about 20 to 30 seconds or until the light brown shade of your choosing. Carefully remove the cookie from the iron with a fork and place it on a tray to cool. Repeat this process for all of the batter.


Cooking Tips:

  • Be careful! I have yet to use a pizzelle iron that doesn't get hot on the outside as well as the inside. Last time I made them I melted the handle on my toaster because the top of the iron got too close.

  • Each pizzelle iron is different and will take slightly different cooking times. You will have to determine how dark or light brown you like your pizzelles. This means you get to sample cookies to find out which level of done-ness you prefer, but wait until they cool slightly first.

  • Extra pizzelles also make excellent ice cream sandwich cookies. I have not frozen the cookies sandwiches, but eat them freshly made with a slice of ice cream between two cookies. Tastes like eating a waffle cone, but better!

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