Pizzelle are a beautiful, thin Italian cookie featuring grid or floral imprints. They are sometimes dusted with powdered sugar or rolled into cylinders for use as cannoli shells. Because they are so beautiful and look so fancy on display, a lot of people have no idea that a pizzelle recipe is actually very simple and easy to make.
The process of making these delicate cookies is not so much difficult as it is time consuming. The dough is not baked in the oven, but spooned out onto a hot iron with patterned grids. The cookies are baked, filling the grids and creating the thin, patterned cookie. Pizzelle makers come in different sizes according to your preference, and usually only make from one to four cookies at a time.
But the ingredients and materials themselves are pretty basic. As a matter of fact, you probably already have part of them in your baking supplies. These are the ingredients that are usually found in a pizzelle recipe and used in the baking process.
Cookie Basics -- Many cookies start out with similar ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and butter. Pizzelle use these ingredients, too. If you prefer to make a vanilla cookie, you may not need any more ingredients than this. But to quickly change the flavor, use a different extract instead of vanilla, such as chocolate or banana.
Flavoring Oil -- Stronger and used in smaller amounts than extracts, these are most often used to give the pizzelle recipe its flavor. Anise has a licorice taste and is typically favored, especially by Italians. If you prefer something different, though, there are many other ones to choose. Orange and cinnamon are also good choices. Flavoring oils are available in candy making departments at stores or online.
An Electric Mixer -- Because the recipe makes a thick dough, it is best to use an electric mixer.
A Pizzelle Maker -- This appliance is not used for much more than making pizzelle and other waffle-style cookies, so it is not very multifunctional. But if you make these cookies at least once a year, then it is well worth having an electric one. A pizzelle maker has anywhere from one to four grids that you drop the dough on to create the elegant designs. They can be found in stores and online.
Powdered Sugar In A Sifter -- When the cookies cool, dust them lightly with a sprinkling of sifted powdered sugar. While it is an optional step, it lends a nice touch to the cookies.