Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yummy Mummy Cookie Exchange Party at Connie's. Pizzelle Recipe


Connie organized a great event, a cookie exchange party for 10 baking-loving mums. Usually, I take a few days and bake hundreds of various cookies, which we pack nicely and give to our neighbors, relatives and friends. I kinda stick to the same recipes more or less, so I hope this party will help me with more variety without extra stress of trying (and failing) new recipes.

In addition to the cookies, we are supposed to bring 10 copies of our recipe to distribute along with the nicely packaged treats. Since the number of places were limited and not everybody who wanted to participate could join, I think it would be better to "distribute" my recipe right here, on our blog, so that all other moms, who aren't going to be there, could still take a small part.

My recipe is Pizzelle, Italian waffles with an intricate beautiful design, perfect for such a festive occasion as Christmas. You can eat them as cookies, just plain as they are, or spread Nutella or jam on one and cover with the other one, making a sort of a sweet sandwich. You probably saw them in the stores, but I'm sure if you make your own, they will taste much much better, in addition to being much more special.

Now, you do need the actual pizzelle maker to make them. I suggest, if you often bake/make your own treats for various occasions, like family gatherings of children parties, then do invest in this great little appliance. It costs around $50 new at Bed, Bath and Beyond, or I'm sure you can also find it in other stores.

The recipe itself is not very demanding in terms of the ingredients, easy to make, no mess, easy to clean up.

So, here's my Pizzelle:

3 large eggs (make sure the eggs are actually large, not the medium ones that call themselves "large")
1/2 cup - sugar
1/2 cup - vegetable oil
1 tsp - vanilla extract
1 tsp - baking powder
1 tbs of any 40% alcohol (makes the pizzelle crispy)
1 tsp - of anise seeds
2 cups - all purpose flour

Take a large bowl, break 3 eggs, add sugar and mix them up well. You can use a mixer, but there is no need, as you are not looking to make stiff peaks or anything like that. Add oil, then spices and alcohol. Take anise seeds and grind them to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or baby bullet. You would need to put more than a spoon of seeds, grind them and then save the rest in a small container for future baking.

Another option, just use Anisette instead. It will give the aroma you are looking for, and will give the crispiness to the waffles.

Add flour. Mix well with a spoon. The batter will be sticky, but that's ok. It shouldn't come out too stiff, as the waffles will be hard. The batter needs to be more on a loose side, that's why it is important to use large eggs, smaller eggs do not provide enough moisture and the batter becomes dry.

Warm up your pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Take 2 teaspoons, pick batter with one, so that it would cover just half of the spoon, and help yourself with the other spoon to put the batter in the middle of the pizzelle form. Then do the same for the other one. Close it tightly, and set the kitchen timer to 80 second. After the timer runs out, open, take the waffles out and put on a flat plate to cool off. Keep the teaspoons you work with in a glass of a cold water. This will help the batter slide off the spoon easier onto the iron surface.

The proper color of pizzelle is dark yellow, so if you see that waffles are coming out brown, then decrease the number of seconds on the timer to 75 or 70 seconds.

That's it. Making them 2 at a time seems like a tedious task, but the time flies, I usually take these seconds to clean up the kitchen, and by the end of the batter I am standing in the clean room.

This recipe will make about 40 waffles.