Today is Good Friday. Being catholic, this means no meat. So far I’ve managed to eat no meat. I also have managed to have a diet today which includes granola for breakfast, a cafe latte and Panettone for lunch with my Nonna, and a snack of Pizzelles, of course. Perhaps I should throw a few veggies in there somewhere..
Anyways, Pizzelles have a long history for me. Ever since I could remember each and every Christmas Eve, again a meatless day for Catholics in which we feast on Seafood, (and I mean feast) I would look forward to eating about 20 Pizzelles while I waited for dinner to be served. My Nonna made them without fail each year and I always thought they were a magical cookies. They are so flat and delicate, with a beautiful imprint on both sides. I had never made them myself before, because you see, you need a special Pizzelle maker to produce them.
As I was having coffee and Panettone with her today, I asked if I could borrow it so I could make this intricate cookie for Easter this weekend. We had been reminiscing about how when she was my age (21) she would had just had my dad. They lived in Italy at the time, and immigrated to Canada when my father was 1. He turned 2 a day after they arrived in Vancouver. I’m sure he would have eaten these by the pile-full as well. She had told me that she never actually had one until now herself, as she and her friend would make them together, and she would borrow her friends maker when she wanted. She just got one for herself, as they were quite expensive before and so I was lucky enough to be able to borrow it for the day. This is my first time ever making them, It seems funny now that I am older that I’m able to do things like this, as I always thought it was so exciting when my Nonna made them, and now I’m the one able to make them. Perhaps I’ll have to get her opinion, just to make sure they’re as authentic as hers.
These little lace cookies are delicious on their own, but you can also use them to make waffles cones, or tubes for Cannoli’s. To do this you need to bend them as soon as they are off the press, as they begin to harden up quite quickly. Alternatively, you can also add cocoa to them to make chocolate ones. But, I say why mess with the original. I’ve also seen them used as the cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
However you choose to make it, I suggest you try them if you have not already. It is difficult to make without a proper press, sorry to say, but if you happen to have one or are able to borrow one I highly recommend it. It takes little effort, and makes large batches.
I hope you all enjoy the long Easter weekend. For now, I’m finding refuge indoors for the day as the high winds and rain have kept us inside all day. A certain little furry friend is not so keen on walking in the storm.
Nonna’s Southern Italian Style Pizzelles
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups sugar (500 ml)
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled (250 ml)
- 2 tsp. Vanilla (10 ml)
- 7 cups Flour (1.75 ml)
- 4 tbs. baking powder (20 ml)
- Beat eggs and sugar.
- Add cooled butter, and vanilla extract.
- Sift flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture.
- The batter will have dough like consistency.
- 1 inch round balls can be formed, if it is stiff enough.
- Place dough onto middle of the grids, using a tablespoon if yours is a little more batter like, or place by hand 1 inch dough balls.
- Press down the lid of the Pizzelle Press and wait a minute or two. You can check it to see if it is slightly browned, you don’t want it to be too dark. Once they are finished cooking, gently lift off to cool with a fork.
Makes about 60 Pizzelles.