When the holidays come around, I love to turn on the holiday music, pull out my pizzelle iron, whip up some egg whites and roll out the cookie dough. Two of my favorite holiday cookies are Pizzelles and Chocolate Clouds. Pizzelles are a traditional Italian cookie. They are crispy, not too sweet and have a hint of licorice flavor. I have several pizzelle recipes that have been shared with me over the years and this one has become my favorite. This makes slightly thicker pizzelles which I prefer.
Pizzelles with a Hint of Anise
- 10 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons anise extract or 1 1/2 teaspoon anise oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat pizzelle iron. 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 oil slowly, mixing until combined. Add the vanilla and anise extract. Add the flour and mix just until batter is smooth. Spray pizzelle iron 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.
Note: I prefer anise oil to anise extract because you get a stronger anise flavor. 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: This pizzelle recipe is lower in saturated fat because it uses vegetable oil rather than butter but remember, holiday cookies are a once-a-year treat so it’s okay to use butter. Sit down, relax and enjoy one or two cookies with a cup of tea (you don’t have to eat a dozen). Anytime you’re cooking from scratch, it’s always better for you than store-bought.
Next up are Chocolate Clouds. Whipped egg whites, cocoa powder and sugar join together to create a puffy, airy cookie that is as light as a cloud. They are crisp on the outside but tender, and chewy inside. YUM!
Chocolate Cloud Cookies
- 3 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating well after each addition until stiff peaks hold, sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy. Add cocoa to the egg white mixture, gently folding just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 35-45 minutes or just until dry. Cool slightly on the pan then remove and cool completely on the wire rack. Stored covered, at room temperature.
Note: These cookies have a very mild chocolate flavor. If you want a more intense chocolate cookie, increase the cocoa powder to 2 tablespoons and mini chocolate chips to 2 cups (12-ounce package).
Recipe adapted from Hersheys.com