I’ve been on a roll lately in getting posts out quickly, yay for me! I think all bloggers get “bloggcked” (my made up word for blogger’s block). In any case, on to my new interest pizzelles. Actually, I’ve been wanting to make pizzelles since I purchased some very yummy ones at the SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale back in May from A Sage Amalgam. Check out Heather’s blog and her amazing gluten-free recipes.
Since then I’ve been itching to make these Italian waffle cookies. My mother-in-law makes “Chinese Pretzels” that are deep-fried and so darn yummy. If you are from Hawaii, you know what I am referring to. They are made with Rosette irons that are dipped in batter and deep-fried. Since we’ve been “thriving” on a more healthy diet, I thought pizzelles would be the perfect substitute. Except for one little problem–pizzelles are made with a pizzelle iron over the stove or a pizzelle electric maker–both of which I did not own. So when I recently got my Bed Bath and Beyond 15% off coupon, I finally purchased an electric pizzelle maker. It looks similar to a waffle maker, but not as deep and with more of an intricate design. So with Pitra all ready to go, I made some pizzelles! Yes, Pitra is the pizzelle maker’s name. Okay here’s where you roll your eyes and call me crazy hee hee.
So far I’ve made classic, chocolate, and pumpkin pizzelles. My sole source of pizzelle recipes are from King Arthur Flour’s website. They have a featured blog post from their Bakers’ Banter with step by step instructions and photos on the classic pizzelle. Because they do a great job of providing step by step instructions with the recipe, I won’t repost here. However, I will provide some tips and tricks I’ve discovered in my pizzelle making adventures.
Here’s a quick peak of some of the pizzelles I’ve made so far.
Then I had an idea. And this is where I apologize to all of the pizzelle purists–furikake. Furikake? Yes, furikake. Furikake is a Japanese condiment that you typically sprinkle over rice to flavor it. It comes in all types, but the classic one is a mixture of nori (seaweed) and sesame seeds. The locals in Hawaii use it for more than a rice seasoning. They use it for fish, chicken, salads, and even a Chex mix. I thought of furikake pizzelles because of something called senbei. Senbei is a Japanese rice cracker that comes in a number of flavors. But my favorite is the nori senbei. So there you have it. Sorry I had to make it, but not so sorry when I ate it!
I used the same King Arthur recipe, but made a couple of adjustments. The recipe calls for 1 3/4 c of flour. I used a cup of flour and substituted 3/4 c of mochiko (sweet rice flour), which I thought was fitting because senbei is made from rice. And I added 2 tbsp of furikake–which I should have added more. The outcome? It needed more furikake and tastes much better as it sits. I couldn’t help myself and ate it as it came off the pizzelle maker (bad idea–hot!) and it had that slight pasty taste of mochiko. But an hour later it tasted much better and crunchier (if that’s a word).
- Yes you need a pizzelle maker! The electric one I have works great. However, I was very hesitant to purchase yet another kitchen gadget. So if are interested in making pizzelles, then purchase an electric maker. What will help and definitely make you feel 15% better is a coupon–like Bed Bath and Beyond’s monthly 15% off coupon.
- If you use butter for your pizzelles it will be crisp, but a very light crisp. If you use oil, it will result in a more crispy pizzelle. I tend to favor it more crispy, but like the flavor of butter. Well who doesn’t? So I use half butter and half oil. My pizzelle maker also has a setting from 1-5, with 5 being very crispy. I set mines to 4. It comes out crispy the way I like it, but not hard like a waffle cone.
- Butter or oil your pizzelle maker really good to prevent sticking. I’ve recently started using a cooking spray–much easier.
- Use a rounded tablespoon or small cookie scooper to measure out the batter. It does get messy, so I use a small teaspoon to scoop out the batter from the tablespoon onto the pizzelle maker. Much more cleaner.
- Good placement of the batter is also key. It should be in the middle but more towards the upper half.
- Usual cooking time is from 45 seconds to 2 1/2 minutes depending how crispy you prefer the pizzelles. However, the maker I purchased does have a light indicator that turns green when done.
- Pizzelles usually do not come out uniformly round. So have a pair of food scissors handy to cut the excess off. But do it quickly as it will harden as it cools. And having an “iron pair of hands” comes in handy–they are hot as they come off the maker! Ouch! A word of caution, it does cause hot finger tips. Not burnt, but almost.
- Store pizzelles in an airtight container. Or if you know you’ll eat them up within a day or so (and you’ll definitely know), I’ve stored them in a ziplock bag and they were still crunchy.
I do not fall into the purist category (well for anything really!) and will probably try another variation that isn’t the usual sometime soon. I understand these are festive holiday cookies–perfect for gift giving? Hmmm, Christmas season is coming up–candy cane pizzelles anyone?!