Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Italian Pizzelles

It's that time of year. Time to drive myself crazy looking for the perfect neighbor gift for 12 or so families. It's a Utah tradition, Neighbor Gifts. Most everyone does it. And there is stiff competition afoot. One family dropped off warm bread wrapped in a dish towel and a jar of Lingonberry Jam. Yum! Another brought Hot Cocoa and another Roasted Tomato Soup.

The fun part is trying to think up a cute saying for the tag. Since my gift includes a small bar of artisan soap, our tag reads "We 'Soap' your Christmas is Clean and Bright!" Not too shabby for an amateur.

Okay, on to the cookies.

When I was in my early 20's, I worked at a hair salon doing acrylic nails. Most of the girls that did hair were Italian and I was treated to many tasty dishes from their momma's kitchens. I wanted to be Italian so badly. I loved all their large families, big Christmas eve dinners, with Braciole, pasta and gravy, and delicate pastries and cookies.

One of the cookies I fell in love with were these crispy, licorice tasting cookies called Pizzelles (Pit-zel) made with an iron.

I have two Pizzelle irons. One the traditional waffle style and the other is the beautiful Christmas iron that imprints an image on one side and Merry Christmas in other languages on the other side of the cookie. I try to make these each Christmas and share them with friends and family. The irons are available on Amazon and at Caputo's in downtown SLC. Oh no! Amazon has one that makes Cannoli size waffles. I'm doomed. I'm never gonna get off my Freshman Fifteen. Or my Ben and Jerry's summer binge of 1995. Don't ask.

Hey, if you want to try out a Pizzelle iron before buying, feel free to borrow one of mine. But only if you live close enough to pick it up yourself. I'm done with shipping. I've seen enough Brown Shirts to last until next year's Figgy Pudding.
Remember all the beautiful spices from The Spice House? I used this perty little bottle of Anise Extract in my Pizzelles and they turned out beautifully. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and have a taste. Buon Natale!


6 Eggs
2 Sticks Margarine melted (don't use butter or the cookies won't be crisp)
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 Tblsp of Anise or Vanilla Extract
3-1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder

Beat eggs and sugar until well incorporated. Add cooled, melted margarine and anise or vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Mix flour and baking powder well then mix into egg mixture. The dough will be very sticky like thick cake batter. Heat iron and place 1 to 2 tablespoons of mixture on back half of iron. As you close iron the batter will spread forward. Experiment with cooking times but mine takes about 30 to 60 seconds per pizzelle.


Anonymous said...

Enjoying your blog as much as ever Liz! I saw those darling little Christmas dishes at a store last week but didn't purchase them because I hadn't come up with my 'neighbor gift' idea yet. When I went back Monday to my dismay they were all gone - now I know where and WHO was a step ahead.
Merry Christmas

Liz Schubert said...

HA! The early bird gets the candy dishes! Merry Christmas neighbor!

Anna said...

Where on earth did you get that amazing pizzelle maker with christmas designs on it? I've been scouring the internet to no avail.

Anna said...

Where on earth did you get that amazing pizzelle maker with the christmas designs on it? I've been scouring the internet with no luck.

Liz Schubert said...

Sorry it took so long to answer your comment Anna! Blogger didn't let me know I had unmoderated comments. The answer: Marshall Fields at Woodfield Mall in Illinois. But, I can't find this anywhere, anymore. I have even tried to google the manufacturer but they don't have a website. You can try, though, Vitantonio Mfg Co of Eastlake, Ohio, Model No. 1225 - Holiday Pizzelle Chef.