Happy Endings

I was recently the recipient of a electric appliance that came with three inserts for use. One was a traditional waffle iron insert ... no problem there. I knew precisely what to do with it and how to enjoy the results -- smothered in maple syrup! The second was an iron insert that was meant to be used to make hot, pressed sandwiches. It's particularly good at making a delightful grilled cheese in minutes. But the third insert was a bit more perplexing. It was a pizzelle iron insert ... for making pizzelles.

While I had a pretty good idea of what a pizzelle was -- a lacey Italian cookie -- I had never attempted to make them and had had them only once or twice. They are actually quite good ... crispy and light with a lovely sweetness that's often paired with ice cream or gelato. So now I had the equipment to try my own hand at it and I got straight to work.

I began with the basic plain vanilla recipe that came with the appliance and found the results to be quite nice. Of course, I am never happy to stop there, so I started playing around with other options and additions. Some of my favorites included a version that was speckled with vanilla and fresh orange zest and the simple chocolate pizzelle recipe that's featured here this month.

If you don't have a pizzelle maker, I don't think I'd recommend that you run out and buy one since they are really a one-trick pony, so to speak. However, if you are also a fan of waffles and hot sandwiches, you might consider the model I have from Krups, since it combines three appliances in one with removable (and dishwasher-safe) inserts. If you want to try these without a pizzelle maker, I'd recommend firing up your pancake griddle and making them pancake-style. They won't be the beautiful pizzelles you might find tucked alongside a luxurious gelato at an Italian cafe, but they are sure to be delicious!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Chocolate Pizzelles

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder

Melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, allow it to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the cooled butter to the egg mixture; beat together.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cocoa together.

Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well.

Heat an electric pizzelle iron according to manufacturer's directions. (Or heat a pizzelle iron on the range-top over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on the grid. Reduce the heat to medium-low.)

Place a slightly rounded tablespoon of batter slightly off-center towards the back of the grid. Close the lid. Bake according to the manufacturer's directions. (For a non-electric iron, bake for 40 to 80 seconds, turning once.)

Turn the wafer out onto a cutting board. While the pizzelle is still warm, trim its edges with a knife. Place it on a paper towel to cool. Repeat this process with the remaining batter.

NOTE: Because irons do vary, be sure to test and adjust your baking time accordingly, but take care not to over cook!

  • Yields: about 15 cookies
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes