Recently, my family has developed a fervent passion for a strange and somewhat pricey food item. And I don’t want you to think that we’re always living the High Life. Normally the fanciest edible that enters the house is some blocks of Belgian chocolate (because this is very necessary), or an obscenely expensive bottle of olive oil pressed from a single ancient tree in Puglia bought during a moment of insanity while shopping at Eataly, or silky Irish smoked salmon purchased from Russ & Daughters for holiday feasting. But suddenly I found myself laying down cold hard cash for a weekly supply of the household’s new love: Italian waffles called pizzelles…What are they? Round, thin, crispy waffles that are sometimes flavored with lemon, anise, or almond and come in little brown boxes and cost about $6 for a box of 20 at your finer supermarkets. I love to buy these for the fam because everyone enjoys them—slathered in hazelnut spread or homemade lemon curd and eaten for breakfast or snacks. But my family (you know who you are!) have been known to eat an entire box IN ONE DAY! This stuff is costing me a fortune.
An occasional treat was turning into a dangerous habit but one that showed no signs of tiring.
Then my mother returned home the other day with a large bag from Williams-Sonoma and inside was a pizzelle iron (is there any kitchen gadget that place doesn’t sell?)! Her idea was that I would become a pizzelle making master, supplying everyone with their lovley Italian waffle things, while saving a bundle and learning something new to make. I fell for it. And its arrival was perfectly timed with a large carton of tri-color raspberries from Stone Barns (thanks again N.N.!).
So Saturday morning I got started–opened the box, and of course there are no instructions. No recipes. Nothing. So I have to go on line and find a recipe. I realized that all the recipes were similar to my grandmother’s Belgian waffle recipe so I decided to do a version of her’s(see below).
One batch made about 40+ waffles. Plenty for a big breakfast with berries and cream and plenty left over for storing in a container…we brought them to the pool, we ate them in the hammock, we ate them all weekend long.
So I don’t know if what I’m trying to say is that you should run out and by yourself a pizzelle maker. But this has been a wonderful addition to the kitchen arsenal, and now I feel like I’ve acquired a new signature dish…without breaking the bank.
Recipe for Pizzelles
6 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tbl. of vanilla extract (you could also substitute good lemon or orange extract)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbl baking powder
Beat egg yolks with a hand held mixer or free standing mixer with sugar on medium speed until creamy and well blended.
Stir in melted butter and vanilla.
In a separate medium bowl combine flour and baking powder with a whisk until combined. Gently stir flour into egg yolk mixture.
In another medium bowl, beat egg whites until not too stiff peaks form. Fold whites gently into batter.
Preheat pizzelle iron. When ready per instructions add tablespoon of batter for each pizelle. Close iron. When steam starts to seep out of iron they should be done (the first batch might be underdone or overdone, you will get the hang of it quickly though). The pizzelle should be a light golden brown. Keep making the waffles until you use up the batter. Store any you don’t end up eating in an air-tight container.
Serve pizzelle with whipped cream and raspberries or with jam and butter or with hazelnut spread, or lemon curd, or just plain.