My parents gave me a pizelle press for my birthday this year and it had been sitting in the box for a few weeks. I will admit that I was having difficulty motivating myself to make them, passing by the unopened box numerous times. Trying something for the first time can be intimidating — especially when you’re alone and it’s something that seems like it may be complicated. That’s when a friend in the kitchen comes in most handy. So, I invited Suzy over to make them with me, figuring it would be so much more enjoyable to have a friend to succeed (or fail) with.
If you don’t know what pizelles are, they are flat, delicate and beautiful Italian cookies that resemble a waffle ice cream cone in both taste and texture. They can be eaten plain, topped with whipped cream and strawberries, dusted with powdered sugar, molded while warm into a cannoli shell and topped or filled with a sugary ricotta cheese. To make them you must own a pizelle press which is similar to a waffle press and has intricate snow flake patterns etched into the mold. The batter is a simple one, with butter, flour, sugar, egg and vanilla and can be flavored with chocolate, anise or zest. They are really quite scrumptious and perfect with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea.
I’m happy to report that through a bit of trial and error Suzy and I succeeded in our first attempt to make pizelles. We discovered that thinning out the batter with a touch of water was important in maintaining a thin cookie; that getting a precise amount of batter on the press was important so it didn’t ooze out the sides; and twelve to fourteen seconds was all it took to get the ideal, golden and crispy cookie that wasn’t under or over cooked. It was thrilling and sometimes hilarious as Suzy and I worked side by side trying something for the first time together with dozens and dozens of cookies to show for our hard work.
All was going perfectly until I decided to make another batch and all Suzy wanted to do was sit down for lunch! I always have to do one thing too many — sorry Suz! I’m headed to teach my middle schoolers all that we learned today.