Pizzelles are a classic Italian treat, so they’re super easy to find at most grocery stores, and certainly at any Italian market. But unless you’ve got a great market that does a ton of volume (Yay for Alesci’s) you don’t know how long that package has been sitting on the shelf.
I held off on making my own pizzelles for a long time, afraid they’d take too much practice to get them right. It turns out, but the third or fourth pair I was on a roll. Have you ever had a pizzelle hot from the press, with a little powdered sugar? Mmmmmmmmm.
Yes, you’ll need a pizzelle press to do these. Borrow one from a friend if you can. Otherwise, check out garage sales and thrift stores, you see them all the time.
This is another one of those “Gee, is that all there is to it?” recipes. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs. Not so much they start to fluff up like meringue, just mix them.
Beat in the vanilla and the melted butter.
Make sure the butter isn’t too hot. You don’t want to cook the eggs.
Now beat in the sugar and the baking powder.
Once everything except the flour is nice and smooth, start beating in the flour a quarter-cup at a time.
Don’t try to just dump it all in and beat it. You’ll make a mess, and the texture won’t be right anyway. If anyone cares about the science behind that, I’ll see if I can get Jenni to explain.
Once the last of the flour is in, beat it just until it’s incorporated, then stop. If you over-beat it, you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and make the pizzelles tough and chewy, instead of light and crispy.
I wasn’t sure if I needed to oil the press or not. But I could see some residue, so I assumed I would. After the press was hot, I brushed the top and bottom with olive pomace oil.
Turns out I didn’t need it. Now I know. So now you know.
Anyway, put a dab of dough about 1½-2 inches just slightly toward the hinge side of the press and close it. If you got the exact right amount, you should have a tiny bit of dough squeeze out around the edges as it cooks. Trim that off with a knife.
Cook for a minute or two, until the top is just starting to brown. Then carefully lift them out with a fork, or a narrow spatula.
You’re going to have to practice with your press to see exactly how long to cook them. You can see in that last picture that we had two presses going.
The round one I’m focusing on cooked much faster. I also like that I could trim the edges (at least halfway around) while they were cooking. The square one made it impossible to trim them until you took them out, and by that time I was working on the next batch.
You can see that some of them have big edges hanging off. We had to trim those very carefully, trying not to break the whole pizzelle.
Even without the overhang, the “perfect” edge still had that fluted shape. I prefer the clean round edge of the other press.
If you want to do chocolate, just add the cocoa powder after the last addition of flour.
Since we were trying these for the first time we only did one tablespoon per batch. They had a nice color and a subtle flavor. Next time we’ll go with two tablespoons.
The plain vanilla ones, on the other hand, were perfect.
And that’s it.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.