Welcome to day 7 of our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Around the World series. Today we have pizzelles.
I grew up never having heard of pizzelles. A few years ago, my mother-in-law was talking about how she would love to have a pizzelle iron. “What’s that?” I asked myself, intrigued. I did a little research and quickly discovered what they are. I was completely fascinated. This is something right up my alley. Pizzelles are an Italian cookie that is thin and crisp. The flavors vary a lot, but traditionally, they’re flavored with anise seed.
It took me a while to finally get myself a pizzelle iron for whatever reason, but when I did, I set to work making pizzelles. However imperfectly they turned out, they tasted amazing. I ate one and was immediately addicted. And so was my husband. And my kids.
Instead of flavoring mine with anise, I usually flavor mine with almond emulsion. (Emulsions are what the bakeries use. They have a stronger flavor that doesn’t bake out.) It’s a more commonly accepted flavor than anise is, so that’s what I typically make. Plus, it makes a perfect base for dipping in chocolate. Normally I would use a semi-sweet chocolate like our Midnight Delight, but not wanting to overpower the delicate flavor of the pizzelle, I chose a milk chocolate for these. My favorite milk chocolate for dipping is Venetian.
Now, I also thinned my chocolate with some cocoa butter. I did this because I didn’t want a thick shell of chocolate on my cookies. It would overpower the cookie. So, to create a thinner shell, I added some cocoa butter to my chocolate. The amount of cocoa butter you use is up to you. If you want your chocolate thinner, add more cocoa butter. If you want it thicker, add less or none at all. I added about 2 melted tablespoons to my 1-ish cup of melted chocolate.
Where do I Find a Pizzelle Iron?
This is the pizzelle iron I have. It makes 4 mini pizzelles at a time that are about 3 inches in diameter. I think that’s the perfect size for a cookie.
So, give these amazing little cookies a try! They’ve become a Christmas tradition in my home and they could become the same for you. Your options are endless depending on the flavors you use. Dip them in chocolate or leave them plain. Make them your way.
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond emulsion
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Dipping chocolate
- Cocoa butter
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Melt butter and set aside.
- Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow, 2-3 minutes. Add melted butter, vanilla extract, and almond emulsion. Beat until blended.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and fold until just blended. Add remaining flour mixture and fold again until just incorporated.
- Heat pizzelle iron.
- Place about 1 teaspoon of batter on each pizzelle space just behind the center of the pattern. (The batter squishes forward when you close the iron, so this will make your pizzelle centered on the pattern.)
- Bake until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds.
- Remove each pizzelle with a silicone spatula and place on a cooling rack.
- Repeat with remaining batter.
- When pizzelles are completely cool, melt chocolate and cocoa butter in the microwave on medium power in 30 second intervals until mostly melted. Stir until completely melted.
- Dip half of each pizzelle in the chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place on a sheet of parchment and allow the chocolate to completely set.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
- The purpose of the cocoa butter is to thin the chocolate. I personally don't like a thick shell of chocolate on my pizzelles, so I thin it to to create a thinner shell. You may like a thicker shell than I do, so the amount of cocoa butter you put in your chocolate is up to you. Or you may choose to omit it completely if you want a thick shell.