That is how this recipe is saved on my computer, since those are the way I will always remember these cookies. Each year, my paternal grandparents would fly in from the midwest to spend the Christmas week with us, and each year we would make up an enormous batch of pizzelles. It would start out as a fun endeavor, but with a recipe that calls for a dozen eggs, we would soon tire of standing in front of the waffle iron. We would chug through, though, knowing how happy it made my Grandpa to have his favorite cookie on Christmas. We no longer spend the holidays together, but my sister and I still wanted to share this holiday memory with Grandpa. We halved the recipe, broke out the cookie iron that belonged to my grandfather’s mother, and made a batch of pizzelles. Maybe our attention span is longer than it used to be, but the process flew by! We ended up making two batches, sending the first to my grandparents and dividing the second among cookie plates for friends and our cookie jar.
If you have never had a pizzelle, they are like a flattened waffle cone with a hint of liccorice flavor from the anise. They are crisp, light, and not too sweet – a great break from the overly sweet treats that fill our homes this time of year. Our tricks for the perfect pizzelle: lots of anise in the batter, constant attention to not overcook the cookie, and a dusting of powdered sugar! They do require special equipment to make, but a pizzelle iron would be a fun novelty item for any baker. Here is the classic pizzelle recipe from my Grandpa’s family, in case you happen to have a cookie press lying around and begging for good use! (It is halved for the attention challenged, if you are anything like me and my sister…)
Question: Are you traveling to be with family for the holidays, or will you be hosting any out of town house guests?
Grandpa Cookies (Pizzelles)
1 cup sugar
3 sticks butter, soft
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp anise extract
3 cups flour
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and anise. Stir in flour until loose dough formed. Heat the pizzelle iron. Coat with cooking spray. Add a spoonful of batter to the center of the iron and close. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then check the cookie. The pizzelle should be lightly browned. Remove with a fork to a plate, and then move to a flat surface covered with wax paper to cool. Before completely cool, dust lightly with Confectioner’s sugar. Repeat, adjusting the amount of dough added and watching cooking time as each batch will cook differently depending on how long the iron is in use.