PIZZELLES, a crisp, lightly ANISETTE scented wafer cookie that finds it’s way onto many a table of homemade treats at the Christmas Holiday Season. It’s a great presentation and once you’ve mastered the PIZZELLE MAKER technique you can bang these out by the hundreds. The maker (iron) is essential and if you are a fan of these treats it’s a nice investment. Very kid friendly for those holiday family cookie making kitchen events. Most makers start around 39.99 or so and can be purchased in a single iron or in the double iron (worth the extra money) and can be found on line or in specialty kitchen stores. So what’s the PIZZELLE all about? It’s Italian and they are made all over Italy today as well as in Italian-American homes. However, they do have a precise point of origin and that is the ABRUZZO in Central Italy. The Abruzzo is a region that straddles the North and the South in terms of culinary traditions but I’ve always felt that it favors the South in it’s foodways. The powerful pagan mixing with Catholic traditions is a driving force in Italy and there is much talk that the pizzelle is a traditional sweet that originally was part of the feast of one of two saints. The cult of San Domenico in Cocullo or the cult of Beato Roberto in Salle both claim the pizzelle. I’ll go with the San Domenico story because of this: You’re not seeing things, apparently S.Domenico is a magnet for snakes (I’m a fan of the cheesy movie SNAKES ON A PLANE too so this is right up my alley) and they are used in the annual Procession of S.Domenico di Sora every May slitthering up and down the statue. Another example of snakes as the evil serpent and S.Domenico as the one who restored the area to good clean living. AND..the pizzelle was created to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Don’t quote me as this is one of many legends regarding the crispy pizzelle but chances are somewhere in the history books there’s something to how and why they were originated. The Anisette flavoring which is so popular may not be part of the original flavoring. That might have simply been a non flavored wafer since there are now ones made with Vanilla, Anisette (my preference), Cinnamon, Lemon, Orange, Chocolate..the usual Italian suspects. Since I’m giving you a recipe with Anisette, and then giving you a Sicilian cream to fill it with this version clearly is not authentic nor is it Abruzzese but like myself, an Italian-American mix.
Let’s start with the cream, enough to make 25 or so Pizzelle sandwiches.
1 1/3 cups SIEVED RICOTTA (drain it thru a Cheesecloth for at least 5 hours, or find a fresh made type, use whole milk Ricotta, if your Ricotta is thin or loose it will affect the creme and not be suitable for a sandwich between 2 crisp pizzelle. The way to correct the excess moisture is by sieving it, not difficult, Cheesecloth though is needed) If you have access to small amounts of IMPASTATA then you are in really good shape, that’s the low moisture Ricotta used by the pros for Cannoli and ravioli but tough
1/2 cup CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR
DROP OF CINNAMON OIL, or 1/2 TSP. GOOD GROUND CINNAMON
1/4 TSP. PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
1 TBS. GOOD SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Blend everything except the chip till thick. Then fold in the chips. Chill for at least 3 hours, covered.
For the PIZZELLE..I use the Williams Sonoma recipe with a few tweaks:
FOR 25 PIZZELLE , YOU NEED TO DOUBLE THE RECIPE FOR THE 25 SANDWICHES
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus
more for brushing
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ANISETTE EXTRACT (LOOK FOR PURE ANISE EXTRACT ONLY, chocolate, lemon, or orange are also fine to use)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
I love pizzelles, though I have never had them sandwiched with cannoli cream. YES, PLEASE!!
I roll the pizzelle on a half inch dowel sticks then I dip ends in melted chocolate let it harden then fill with filling I use cannoli cream or lady lock cream
i learned of the lady lock cookies just a few weeks ago. are you from the Pittsburgh area? they seem to be very popular there…beautiful.
My sister’s mother in law was from Cicily. She always said once you put the batter in the iron, say The Lord’s Prayer, and the Pizelles are done. That’s how she kept time.
that is a great tidbit of info!!!! thank you! I will share that on my Facebook pages…my oldest daughter is our Pizzelle maker, i’ll pass this along to her!
That is a great idea for timing. I will try that method next time I make them.
I make pizzells for a store and think after you fill them they would get soggy!
i say in the blogpost, you have to do this RIGHT before serving..you can’t do this ahead of time.
I love these especially with Anise Oil, But I tried something new last year and I put chocolate chips the tiny ones and they were really good. I do have my grandmothers Iron from Italy, but I don’t have a gas stove to use it. It has a great design on it, a man and women toasting. I do have my mom’s electric iron from when they first came out. I did purchase a new non stick one but I like the old one better. THis was our Christmas treat every year. I think I might try this though. thanks
food with family history always tastes best!!! enjoy your pizzelle making!!
thanks and Merry Christmas, one of these days I’m gong to try the pumpkin spice pizzelles.
So I made the cannoli cream recipe exactly like it states. I blended everything besides the chocolate chips. It’s been about 3 hours in the fridge but still doesn’t seem to be as thick as normal cannoli cream. Any ideas? Thank you!
“normal” cannoli cream is made with a specific ricotta that has most of the moisture drained out, then it’s pressed together, called Impastata…generally only sold to the baking trade. tough to find retail. The closest you’ll get it by draining it in cheesecloth overnight..but even then, it willnot be exactly the same consistency…more powdered sugar will help tighted in up more….all commercial ricotta is very wet, some more than others…so, it’s not an exact science. you can also using a mixer, beat in some standard cream cheese, that will tighten it up, but will add a cheesier flavor, but still delicious. don’t add mascarpone, it will make the filling even less thick. let me know!! good luck.
When I make my cannoli cream I put my ricotta in the cheese cloth overnight and weigh it down with a heavy bowl and it really gets the ricotta very dry.
I have a recipe where you have to beat together heavy cream and powered sugar. Then fold in the ricotta, chocolate chips, cinnimon and a pinch of nutmeg. Very good
What is Lady Lock Cream???? Have allergies to cheese–any suggestions?
use a buttercream or whipped cream perhaps..
I love pizzelles especially anise nothing better
I use a small bowl and turn it upside down. As soon as the Pizzelle is done I put it on the bowl and form it like the bowl. After it gets hard, I take it off the bowl. It now looks like a bowl. For the kids for dessert, I put Ice Cream in it and they love it. After eating the Ice Cream, they eat the Pizzelle. It’s a little soggy but it has the Ice Cream flavor in it. They love it.
I love to make Pizzelles. I add the anise oil but the sandwiches look great. I may try them. Thank you