Italian Pizzelle Cookie
This beautiful Italian “cookie”, is known widely as the Pizzelle. In Switzerland, the pizzelle is known by a few different names. The Bretzeli, Brätzeli, Brezel, Brätzel, Bratzel are most of the names the Swiss know this lovely, delicate treat by. But, historically speaking, I do believe the Italians have the archive on this treat. In fact, it’s really quite the cultural symbol in Italy.
It’s said that these cookies were first mentioned in historic archives from the 8th Century. In fact, this cookie very much became a status symbol, as families used their personal family crests for the designs on the cookie irons. They are said to have originated from the Abruzzo region. They are featured today (after 13 centuries) in many of the local towns festivals & traditional celebrations. Pretty good sign that a thin, light waverly cookie can withstand the test of time for so many centuries. It is a sure sign that the recipes and irons have been passed down generation after generation.
With that information, it’s safe to assume that more than likely, it was the little children who kept this cookie alive. All kids, even the “picky” ones, love this cookie. Or maybe it was a traditional wedding cookie, with the family crest clearly marked in the middle. Perhaps it was a Christmas tradition and status that kept the cookies alive for the past several hundred years. But, there’s no denying it, Italians love their cookies. Much of the history is defined in the biscotti, or my Nonna’s twists as an example. Both recipes are in my family now three generations, if not longer!
Tricks for the perfect pizzelle
Pizzelle’s are delightfully easy to make. There are however a few tricks that you learn simply by trial and error. For example, I realized that the key to the “perfect” cookie dough is melting, then cooling the butter. Additionally, it’s important to keep your eggs at room temperature for about 30 minutes before adding them into the mix. The other key to success is the amount of dough you put in the iron. Too much and it’s oozing out of the iron. Too little and it’s just too small. Use only a spoon full in the center of each symbol, then the lid locks down until it’s cooked. I like my pizzelle’s on the light side, while others prefer it darker. Finished with a light dusting of powder sugar on top, these delicate cookies make the perfect anything. They are a common sight during the holiday’s, or in my house, whenever the craving hits us.
- 3 medium eggs room temp. for 30 min.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla or other spice such as anise
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- melt your butter, and put it aside to cool
- crack your eggs, then let them adapt to room temperature for about 30 minutes
- measure out your sugar, and add the eggs together and mix until well combined.
- pour in the butter, and add dry ingredients (sift if necessary the flour and b-powder together). Combine and mix until cookie dough consistency is reached.
- plug in the iron, and begin to spoon small teaspoon size of dough, and put in the center of the design. Press down and lock lid, and cook for desired color. For light about 15 seconds.
In Switzerland search for Brezeleisen, we use the one from Trisa Electronics
- sprinkle with powder sugar and serve.