Each Christmas I break out my pizzzelle maker and prepare to spend an afternoon pressing these delicate cookies into snowflake shapes to give as gifts or simply enjoy with a cup of tea. I have been doing this for nearly 30 years when I began the tradition with my then young son who loved to dip the spoon into the viscous batter and watch as it puddled onto the hot pizzelle iron.
Pizzelle were originally made in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. The name comes from the Italian word for “round” and “flat” (pizze); this is also the meaning of the word pizza. Many other cultures have developed a pizzelle-type cookie as part of their culture (for example, the Norwegian Krumkake). It is known to be one of the oldest cookies, and is believed to have developed from the ancient Roman crustulum.
The very tattered and torn book in which I have hand written the recipe is also over 30 years old. It contains, as the cover states, mes meilleures recittes. In this age of cooking apps and online recipes, it is a very traditional way of archiving recipes that have been passed down over time and through the family. Makes it only more precious to me.
Here is the recipe:
1 dozen eggs, 1 lb. butter, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 bottle anise extract (1 oz.), handful anise seeds, 2 stp vanilla, 1 lemon (zest and the juice), 7 cups of flour
Mix above adding flour and anise last. Drop by tablespoons onto hot pizzelle maker.
Happy Holidays to all!!!
N.B. If you really want to get creative you can take two pizzelle and sandwich them between ice cream or nutella. Or, if you prefer, roll them when they are still warm to create cannoli shells.