Pizzelles were one of my favorite cookies growing up. On hot days in the summer when baked goods were out of the question in a house without air-conditioning, these were a stand-by (and they are great with ice cream too, which worked out perfectly). But they are awesome any time of year, and can be easily adapted for different flavor inspirations. While the pizzelles are still hot you can form them into fun little dessert cups, cannoli shapes, or cones and fill them with anything you want.
I decided to try browned butter and lemon zest on this batch. I thought the brown butter flavor got a little hidden with all the other flavors, but I did seem to notice that the cookies were really crisp, and seemed to stay crisper longer. The extra crispness could be due to a lot of different factors, but it may have been from browning the butter and releasing some additional water in the browning process, so I will certainly be testing this again.
Pizzelles are great plain, but I highly recommend experimenting with a nice dusting of powdered sugar, dunked in ice cream, sandwiched between Nutella or pizzelle PBJs.
Italian PizzellesAdapted slightly from VillaWare Pizzelle Baker Recipe Booklet 3 eggs, room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon anise (optional) 1 3/4 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar using a small hand mixer or wooden spoon. Beat in the cooled butter, vanilla and anise, if using, to egg and sugar mixture.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into the egg mixture with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. The batter should be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon.
Bake in your pizzelle baker, according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
Pizzelle Baking Tips:
- Let your iron heat up at least 5 to 8 minutes.
- A spring-loaded ice cream scoop makes it really easy to drop batter quickly; I use a 1 3/8″ scoop that is slightly over filled; if you don’t have scoop two spoons will work too.
- A light coating of non-stick spray or vegetable oil on the iron at the beginning helps to prevent sticking. Add spray or oil before the iron is on just to be safe.
- The first time I used my baker, the first few rounds stuck. Don’t get discouraged, this goes away with use!
- Try to drop your batter a little behind center in the waffle baker; the dough has a tendency to shift forward when you close the baker, so by dropping it behind center, it helps to equalize the shift and evenly distribute batter.
- My pizzelles seem to be baked perfectly around 30 to 40 seconds in the iron; I like mine lightly browned.
- Remove cooled pizzelles with a fork to a cooling rack until no longer warm.
- If you want to shape your pizzelles, do so immediately after you pull them from the iron, as this will be your only chance.
- Store pizzelles in an air-tight container – I think they are best when eaten within 2 days.
Other Flavor Variations:
Almond PizzellesAnything almond was always a favorite in our house. 1 teaspoon of almond extract reduce vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon omit anise extract
Follow directions for the basic recipe above, swapping out extracts as directed.
Chocolate PizzellesLovely light chocolate flavor – really nice with almond extract 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 3 additional tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional) omit anise extract
Add cocoa and extra 3 tablespoons of sugar to the basic Italian pizzelle recipe. Omit anise.
Browned Butter with Lemon ZestPictured Above 1/2 cup browned butter (instead of melted butter) 1 teaspoon lemon zest omit anise extract
Follow the basic recipe, except brown the butter (for browning instructions refer to this recipe). The browned butter will take longer to cool because it does get quite hot; wait for it to cool down before adding. Follow remaining steps in basic recipe adding the butter and zest as directed above with the vanilla. Omit anise.
Make one batch of the Italian pizzelle recipe and the Chocolate pizzelle recipe. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of each dough to each section of the baker, and bake.