Grandma Rose was the expert pizzelle maker in our family, and she and my mom got together every year to make them. My mom, in turn, became a pizzelle fairy, distributing them to friends, teachers, physicians, mailmen and anyone else lucky enough to cross her path during the Christmas season. So of course, when I got married, a pizzelle iron was among the gifts.
Here’s what my pizzelle iron looks like today.
Mind you, I know people who would be horrified by this, but Grandma Rose would have said that the golden-brown patina caused by decades of burnt grease is useful for "seasoning" the iron and enhances the flavor.
Pizzelle recipes are fun to tinker with. The basic recipe is:
1 cup (two sticks) margarine
1.5 cups sugar
2 t. vanilla
4 t. baking powder
3.5 c. flour
1) Melt and cool one cup of margarine (be sure to use margarine – it doesn’t burn as quickly, which is important in the iron)
2) In a large bowl, combine the margarine with 1.5 cups of sugar and 2 t. vanilla. Add the eggs one at at time.
3) In a separate bowl, combine 4 t. baking powder and 3.5 c. flour., and with a hand mixer, add to the wet ingredients, about a cup at at time and beat until smooth.
4) Put 2 t. on each side of a hot iron and bake for about 30 seconds until golden. (All irons are different! Your mileage may vary).
The fun usually starts by substituting other flavored extracts for the vanilla. Anise is popular, but I’ve also used orange and lemon extracts.
You can also add an additional 1/2 c. of cocoa, 1/2 c. of sugar and 1/2 t. baking powder to the dry ingredients to make chocolate pizzelles, then put a scoop of peppermint ice cream in between. Move over Klondike.
Pizzelles right from the iron are still pliable and can be rolled into tubes (for cannolis) and cones. For my wedding, we filled pizzelle cones with Jordan almonds and gave them out as favors. At Italian weddings five almonds symbolize health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.