Holidays would not be the same without pizzelles. I make them every year and have experimented with many different recipes, trying to create the perfect pizzelle. I’m very fortunate to have been given an old family recipe from my friend and fabulous cook, Lynda. It has become my favorite. There are a few things to consider when making pizzelles. Do you make them with anise seed, anise extract, anise oil or no anise at all? I love the licorice flavor of anise so I use anise oil which tends be stronger than anise extract and seeds. Another consideration is whether you like these cookies wafer thin or a little thicker. I have to admit, I have not had much luck getting my pizzelles to be wafer thin, but that’s fine with me because I prefer a thicker pizzelle anyway. If you want to try to get them thinner, I suggest using less flour or a little more orange juice. And of course, you need a pizzelle iron. I purchased mine at my favorite kitchen shop, Fante’s, in the Italian Market in Philly.
Pizzelles with Anise and Orange Zest (aka Lynda's Mom's recipe)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup margarine (I used butter)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon each lemon and orange juice (I used 2 tablespoons orange juice)
- rind of one orange
- 2 tablespoons anise seed or 1 teaspoon anise extract or 1/2 teaspoon anise oil (I used oil)
Melt the margarine or butter. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the baking powder and flour. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs at high-speed. Gradually add the sugar to the eggs, beating on low-speed until blended and creamy. Add the melted margarine or butter, orange juice, orange rind, anise flavoring of choice. Mix just until blended. Preheat pizzelle iron and spray with cooking spray. Place a heaping teaspoon of batter in the center of each pizzelle plate. Close and secure the lid of the pizzelle iron and bake for 40-50 seconds or until pizzelles are lightly browned. Remove cookies from the iron and repeat. Cool pizzelles on a wire rack. Makes 3 dozen or more cookies.
Note: I freeze my pizzelles after they are cooled because this helps to keep them crisp. If they become soft, put them in a 350 degree oven for about 2 minutes. You can also sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
Nutrition Note: No need to make these “healthy”. Holiday cookies are a once a year treat. Enjoy one or two (not a dozen) with a cup of tea and remember that anytime you’re cooking from scratch, it will always be better for you than store-bought. I prefer using real butter and regular flour for this recipe (whole wheat flour is not recommended).