Posted on 5th Mar 2013 @ 3:33 PM
Ironing out the technique
Making pizzelle takes some trial and error.
Once you get the hang of it, it's easy and fun. Invite a friend over to help. It's best if you get organized first.
Lay out sheets of wax paper on your countertop or table so you can let the cookies cool and dry.
Plug your pizzelle iron into an outlet where you will have room to work. Make sure you have a watch or a clock with a second hand. Keep a wet towel handy to wipe your hands.
Plug in the pizzelle iron for 15 minutes, or until hot.
Generously grease the upper and lower grids with vegetable shortening. (Be prepared to grease several times while making the pizzelle.)
Drop a ball of the batter (approximately a tablespoon or just under 2 ounces) onto each grid, slightly to the back of the grid. If you put it in the center or too far forward, it will ooze out. Pull the top of the iron down, lock into place and let each cookie bake for 30 seconds.
Bake the first two cookies and throw them out. (This helps to season the iron.)
Now you're ready to start.
Most pizzelle irons will make two cookies at a time, although some irons will make four and Palmer Manufacturing has two new models on the market that each make three.
After letting the cookies bake, lift the lid. Using a fork or your fingers, gently remove each pizzelle from its grid.
Lay each cookie on wax paper for about an hour to cool and dry. Change the paper and turn each cookie over so the other side dries also. Stack. Freeze or store in an airtight container.
Pizzelle can be served with coffee or dipped in red wine.
-- Johnna A. Pro
MARY JO VINDIVICH'S FAVORITE PIZZELLE
It was because of Mary Jo Vindivich that we devoted lots of space in this year's cookie section to pizzelle. Vindivich, who has been married 24 years, has baked pizzelle since she was a bride. Over the years, she's tried many recipes and different flavorings, but by far, the most popular is the traditional Italian pizzelle.
In an extremely large bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar gradually. Add the melted shortening and the flavoring. Beat until blended smooth. Add the flour 1 cup at a time. Mix well after each addition. Add the salt. You will end up with thick dough-like batter, similar to drop cookie dough.
Chill the batter for 2 hours, overnight or several days to enrich the flavor. (We chilled ours overnight.)
Bake as directed in accompanying sidebar. Makes 10 to 12 dozen pizzelle, depending on the iron.
VIRGINIA LAMA PRO'S BELGIAN WAFFLE COOKIE
This recipe, which is nearly 40 years old, comes from Virginia L. Pro, mother of staff writer Johnna A. Pro, who over the years has shared many of her cookie recipes on the PG food pages. Like the pizzelle, the waffle cookie is a delicately flavored cookie that looks lovely on a plate. Although Pro always made hers in the basement using a hand-held iron and a gas stove, you'll have an easier time. There are several Belgian cookie irons on the market, including one made by Palmer Manufacturing. For a novice baker, these aren't quite as difficult to make as pizzelle.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy and let sit. In a separate large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Add the liquor and mix well. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and continue mixing. Add the egg whites and mix. You will have a doughlike batter. It's not necessary to chill this batter, but you can pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes while preparing the iron. Remember to keep a wet towel handy as fingers will get sticky.
Plug in waffle iron for 15 minutes or until hot. Generously grease top and bottom grids with Crisco or other vegetable shortening. (Be prepared to grease as you are baking.) Drop a ball of batter directly in the center of the iron. (Use about a 1/2 tablespoon or approximately an ounce to get cookies that are roughly 2 1/2 inches in diameter) Close iron, lock and let cookies bake for 1 minute. Using a fork, gently remove from the grids. Place on racks or on wax paper to dry. Freeze or store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.
Serve plain, sprinkled lightly with powered sugar or spread with butter.
Makes approximately 10 to 12 dozen cookies, depending on size.