Pizzelles

Pizzelle Recipe

Though intricate and slight, pizzelles are delicious and versatile. The traditional Italian Christmas cookies can be served alone or in an array of holiday desserts. You can enjoy them cannoli-style with a sweet, creamy filling or sandwiching your favorite ice cream. Here you will find a pizzelle recipe as well as several creative variations.

Yield: 4 to 5 dozen cookies

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Ingredients

3½ cups flour, sifted
⅔ cup ground pecans
2 tsp. baking powder
6 large eggs
1⅓ cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 drops anise oil

Directions

  1. Preheat a pizzelle iron (if using a stovetop version, set it over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes). Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together the flour, pecans and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, melted butter and vanilla, beating until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the anise oil.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon the batter by scant tablespoon onto the preheated iron. Close the lid and bake for about 30 seconds (turn the iron halfway if you have a stovetop kind) or until cooked through and lightly browned. Carefully remove the pizzelles and stack on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Tasty twists

Pumpkin-pie spiced pizzelles

Omit the anise oil. Add 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice to the batter.

Pizzelle cannoli

Make a half recipe of pizzelle batter and preheat the iron. Find a dowel or wooden spoon handle about ¾ inch in diameter. Cook a pizzelle and, working quickly, loosely roll the hot pizzelle around the dowel, overlapping the ends. Remove the dowel, but hold the pizzelle closed to set it. Cool completely.

Make the filling: Beat together 2½ cups ricotta cheese, 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, 6 ounces softened cream cheese, ½ teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons grated orange zest. Stir in ⅓ cup candied orange peel and 3 ounces mini chocolate chips. Spoon or pipe the filling into the rolled pizzelle. Dip the ends of the cannoli in minced pecans (about 6 tablespoons).

Ice cream sandwiches

Make a half recipe of pizzelles. Sandwich a scant ½ cup softened ice cream between 2 pizzelles. Wrap well and return to the freezer.

Tasty twists

Pumpkin-pie spiced pizzelles
Omit the anise oil. Add 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice to the batter.
Pizzelle cannoli
Make a half recipe of pizzelle batter and preheat the iron. Find a dowel or wooden spoon handle about ¾ inch in diameter. Cook a pizzelle and, working quickly, loosely roll the hot pizzelle around the dowel, overlapping the ends. Remove the dowel, but hold the pizzelle closed to set it. Cool completely. Make the filling: Beat together 2½ cups ricotta cheese, 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, 6 ounces softened cream cheese, ½ teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons grated orange zest. Stir in ⅓ cup candied orange peel and 3 ounces mini chocolate chips. Spoon or pipe the filling into the rolled pizzelle. Dip the ends of the cannoli in minced pecans (about 6 tablespoons).
Ice cream sandwiches
Make a half recipe of pizzelles. Sandwich a scant ½ cup softened ice cream between 2 pizzelles. Wrap well and return to the freezer.