I am a bit of a scrooge. And also, I'm not hugely into sweets. But every December, I find myself craving pizzelles - a "traditional italian wafer cookie" - typically flavored with anise and lemon or a combination of the both. Every December, usually thanks to my mom or my sister, I nearly o.d. on these things (And of course, every January, I curse that extra fat roll!).
I've never baked them myself but this year I realized that if I want to eat them, I'm going to have to learn how to make them, because I won't be seeing my family for the holiday. So tonight I pulled out the pizzelle iron that my mom gave me for Christmas several years ago, and I finally took it out of the box. Thanks, Mom!
In my search for the perfect recipe, I found this interesting article. But that's just an aside, because the perfect recipe of course, is my family recipe! I don't know exactly where it came from, but tonight I called my sister and she dictated it to me, and told me to follow it exactly, and I did... almost. The recipe calls for lemon extract but I was too cheap to cough up $7.99 for a bottle of lemon extract, and I happened to have a bunch of nice, thick-skinned lemons on hand from my friend Thomas' tree, so I used lemon zest instead, and I think it the results are fabulous.
So remember, you have to have the pizzelle iron in order to make these things. And once you do, you make them like this: (click here for printable recipe)
Melt 2 sticks butter, and let it cool.
Put 1 3/4 cups sugar in a bowl, and pour the butter into it and stir.
Add 6 eggs to the butter & sugar mixture, and mix it well.
Add to the above mixture: 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 1 1/2 t. anise extract, and 1 1/2 t. lemon zest.
Now add to the mix: 3 cups flour, 1/2 t. baking powder and 1/2 t. salt. Mix it well.
Heat up the pizzelle iron, and drop the batter by the small teaspoonful, a plop on each side. Clamp the lid down and let it do it's thing for about 30 seconds. Don't worry if the first few come out funky - the pizzelle iron just needs to get into its groove. Remove the pizzelles with a spatula (plastic or wood only please!), and let cool on a cooling rack. You'll notice that they come out of the iron soft and pliable, but within a minute or two on the cooling rack, they'll be nice & crisp, and you probably will eat them as fast as you make them. So much for giving them away as gifts. So much for your diet! If you do manage to refrain from eating every last one, once they are completely cool, store them in an airtight container. They should last for several weeks, except they won't, because everyone will love them!