Holidays are about traditions and family heritage. Making cookies is has been a Christmas tradition as long as I can remember. But when you marry you combine traditions with your spouse and come up with your own traditions. My husband's mother always make these Italian cookies called pizzelles. No he's not Italian but the doctor who his mother worked for was so she picked up this tradition and added it to there family's traditions and we have too.
Makes 150 pizzelles
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla or anise extract (pure)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1. Beat the eggs until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla or anise extract. Onto the mixture, sift the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar and blend vigorously all of these dry ingredients into the egg mixture until smooth. The mixture will be sticky and stiff. Test by dropping the mixture from a small teaspoon or demi-tasse spoon. As needed, add a few tablespoons of water so that the mix drops conveniently as a ribbon in two to three seconds. If the mix is too thin, add a few tablespoons of flour.
2. Set the Color Control Dial of the Pizzelle Pro® to about 3 - 3 1/2 and bake using the red/green light cycle for timing. Alternatively, bake for approximately 45 seconds, open the lid briefly to examine the color, and bake longer as desired to create a darker/browner surface. The baking time can be shortened slightly by increasing the Color Control Dial reading about 1/2 unit.
Please note that when we make the recipe we mix the eggs, oil and sugar and vanilla beat together. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder together and slowly add to liquid mixture a cup at a time. It is best made and easiest if you have bread dough beaters as just a regular mixter you can burn out quickly because the dough gets really hard to mix.
I personally start with a quadrupled batch of dough to begin our cookies, my family only likes the vanilla ones so that is all we make. We had tried anise, almond, and lemon, which are good but vanilla is the best. It takes me by myself 4 hours to make this cookies, I find it makes about 250 cookies. I use my pizzelle press which only makes 2 cookies at a time and my daughter uses my mother-in-laws press as she is no longer able to make them. When I have help it only takes 2 hours to make these cookies.
This year we made 2 quadrupled batches of 500 cookies. We use them to eat and give away as presents. Everyone loves these cookies and look forward to them every year. You just can't eat one.
For your pleasure I have included the history.
History of Pizzelle Traditions
It is generally believed that pizzelles were originated in a middle region of Italy in ancient times to mark an annual celebration. Initially baked over an open fire with relatively simple but effective irons, the early pizzelles often were proudly embossed with the family crest or some hint of the village of origin.
Over time it became tradition to use pizzelles to celebrate any holiday or festive occasion, but inevitably there were pizzelles for everyone at Christmas and Easter. The modern patterns found on these delicious waffle cookies most commonly are floral on one side and a woven basket-like pattern on the other.
The recent increased popularity of pizzelles is the result of greater recognition of their delicious versatility. For example, pizzelles, when still hot, can be formed into cylinders, cones and mini-baskets that can hold a wide variety of delicious fillings for festive occasions. The range of taste experiences that can be created with fillings of formed pizzelles is virtually endless.