This year I haven’t had much time to bake for my Christmas tins, so I had to limit the kind of cookies and limit the number of recipients. There are two delicate cookies, though, that I make sure I include because I want them to become a tradition. First, is pizzelle which are Italian waffle cookies. My mom’s side of the family is Italian, and so we borrow my grandmother’s pizzelle maker every year to make these fine cookies. Last year I was able to find the discontinued brand of pizzelle maker that my grandmother owns on Craiglist! I saw on Ebay that they sold for around $100 and were hard to find. But, I posted a “want” ad on Craigslist and a man from Naperville emailed me the next day. The fun part about it was that he said it was his aunt’s and she left her original recipe in the box. Very cool!
The other delicate cookie I love to make every year is the Chocolate Florentine. I’ll save these for a later post. But, these cookies are fabulous! You’ll just have to anticipate it’s appearance on Pennies on a Platter a little longer…
For now, here is the pizzelle recipe. Last year I made three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and orange. This year I didn’t have time to make different flavors, so I just used food coloring on the vanilla cookies for a festive look.
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.
Heat the pizzelle iron, and brush with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20 to 45 seconds, or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
For chocolate pizzelles, add 1/4 cup cocoa sifted together with flour and baking powder, 1/4 cup more sugar and 1/4 teaspoon more baking powder. I find that for the chocolate mixture, the iron must be well oiled to start and then brush on more as needed.