Pizzelles – Vanilla and Chocolate Pepperment

My good friend Chris is the first person who made me Pizzelles.  She is part Italian.  I am not sure who turned her on to them, might of been her mother-in-law before she was her mother-in-law.

For years she made them for me.  I love them cold with a cup of tea in the morning.  At some point I moved away from my home town and realized that I could make them for my self and others.

So I bought my first Pizzelle iron.

Like most recipes I like to give a bit of history of the food.

Pizzelles are the oldest known cookie and originated in the mid-section of Italy. They were made many years ago for the “Festival of the Snakes” also known as the “Feast Day of San Domenico” in the village of Colcullo in the Italian region of Abruzzo. This village in Italy that was once overrun with snakes, and they were chased out.  Afterwards the village celebrated with pizzelle. Sweet bread pancakes, know as pizzelles, are sold in an auction, to receive the offers of the faithful: they will be on show during the procession with the statue of the saint enveloped by live snakes.

The name comes from the Italian word pizze for round and flat. Many different cultures have adapted this cookie and re-named it accordingly.  In Scandinavia they are also known as Lukken and the Krumcake is baked using a similar iron as the pizzelle.

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The pizzelle iron, which resembles a small variant of the popular waffle iron is held by hand over a hot burner on the stovetop, although some models are electric and require no stove. Typically, the iron stamps a snowflake pattern onto both sides of the thin golden-brown cookie, which has a crisp texture once it is cooled. There are also several brands of ready-made pizzelle available in stores.

In some parts of Italy, the irons would be made with family crests on them which would be passed down to each generation. Source the Biscuit People

There are many versions of this recipe sometimes with 3 eggs sometimes with 4 eggs.  Some suggest anise seed or extract. (I don’t like it so I don’t use it.  If you do then use it.) This is the one I use most:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 13/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl approx 2 – 3 minutes, until fluffy and light yellow color
  2. Slowly drizzle melted and cooled butter and add vanilla extract
  3. Using a spatula, fold in flour and baking powder just until incorporated into the wet ingredients
  4. Bake one tablespoon per mild in pizzelle iron until golden brown, about 30 seconds
  5. Remove and cool on rack
  6. For Chocolate Pizelles  – Omit vanilla, add 3 table spoons of quality unsweetened coco powder sifted and 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

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I usually only make the vanilla ones.  Never have done a flavor.  Since it is the holiday I decided to make Chocolate Peppermint ones.

I used Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened Cocoa and their peppermint chunks.  The chunks of peppermint are soft and not hard candy cane chunks. I put them in a food processor and made them into smaller pieces.  I just eyeballed the amount to taste.

The chocolate ones are harder to tell when they are done due to the brown color.  I did burn a few 🙂

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