I was given a pizzelle press last Christmas as a gift and have had good intentions of using it time and time again but somehow it hadn’t happened, until this holiday season. I have wanted to make pizzelle cannolis with it, where you form the still warm pizzelles into tubes and fill with ricotta so I MUST get to that soon but I thought it might be wise to start with the basics. Errr, well the basics with chocolate added. And maybe a bit or orange extract…
Pizzelles are traditional Italian cookies and are often made and served around the holidays. They may be hard and crisp or soft and chewy, depending upon the recipe. This recipe leans more towards the “hard and crisp” end of the spectrum, which I like but are not so fragile that they won’t hold up on a holiday cookie tray. They are in fact, a beautiful and impressive addition to these.
There was a bit of a learning curve to this and I ended up with a little baggie full of pizzelle “pieces”. Nothing wrong with the way the pieces taste so I’ve been working on those… Getting the right about of batter in the press, where to position it and the fact that you must use some cooking spray or vegetable oil, even if your iron says it’s not-stick, are the lessons I took away. The amount of batter from a tablespoon cookie scoop is about perfect and it is best to drop the dough slightly above center the press so that when you close it, it is pushed slightly forward and spreads out to fill the iron. My iron is a Cuisinart and has two handy lights indicating when it is up to temperature and when your dough is fully cooked. Fairly reliable so I was pleased with that. I had a lot of pizzelles stick before I got wise and started using a light spray of cooking spray before pressing each cookie. Then it was smooth sailing.
The orange flavor in these is very subtle so if you desire a stronger orange flavor, just increase the added extract. I also add some red non-pareils to the dough for a festive look. Use good cocoa powder for this, it will make a difference in the flavor since there are not an awful lot of ingredients.
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
*Prepare at least 8 hours before serving
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. orange extract
- ½ tsp. espresso powder
- 3/8 tsp. fine salt
- ¼ cup dutch-process cocoa, preferably dark cocoa
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup colored non-pareils (optional)
- Beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange, espresso powder and salt until smooth
- Add the cocoa and baking powder and beat until smooth
- Add the flour, mixing until well-combined
- Add the melted butter and mix until well-combined
- Bake the pizzelle according to your pizzelle iron instructions. Generally a tablespoon cookie scoop will portion the correct amount of dough and it is best to drop the dough just above center in your iron. It is best to lightly coat your iron with cookie spray prior to making each cookie (or brush lightly with vegetable oil)
- A tip: immediately after you remove your cookie from the oven, trim the edges with scissors to even them out if you wish. It is much easier than trying to break bits off later!