Pizzelle

pizzelle

There are very few occasions when I’ll insist on the purchase of a specialty appliance or pan. This is one of them (and I guess I’m technically doubling down PLUS giving a book recommendation). Perhaps if I didn’t grow up with pizzelle I wouldn’t feel so strongly about them, but I did and it’s hopeless. There’s no turning back (a wee overdramatic, yes). Regardless of your pizzella past, my guess is that nearly all of us have, at one time or another, wandered past an ice cream parlor making fresh waffle cones and were enticed by the sweet, vanilla aroma. If you’re unfamiliar with these Italian wafers, they’re pretty much like those cones, only less cloying, more fragile and far less gargantuan in size (and traditionally served flat).

As is the case with most everything I make, I was reminded of them — this time at a neighbor’s Memorial Day weekend picnic, she served ice cream on a cone (in a dish for me) for dessert — and was compelled to dig up my old, WIP¹ recipe and get to work. (I know, such a riveting process!) Plus, I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed making various ice cream recipes from the Bi-Rite Creamery book — Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones — that I was in need of an extra-special way to showcase them. What better than serving freshly made ice cream on a freshly made cone?

salted caramel on a pizzelle cone

When I read that the Creamery was publishing a book, I made a plan to pick it up on its release date. Until then, my ice cream maker attachment (a.k.a. the “free” item when I purchased my KitchenAid mixer) sat, largely unused, in my storage unit downstairs. And even though a trip to purchase a scoop of toasted coconut or strawberry balsamic — which I had the pleasure of enjoying last year after everyone else grabbed treats from Tartine — is a mere bus ride away now, I really, really wanted to start making ice cream from scratch on a more regular basis. All of the egg yolks I had on my hands from making white cake after white cake and swiss meringue buttercream and insert egg white-heavy recipe here may have had a little something to due with my newfound interest as well.

Anyhow, I am so impressed by their ice cream recipes as written that I cannot possibly post them. If you’re at all interested in making foolproof, rich, delicious ice cream at home, I absolutely encourage you to buy the book. The recipes are so well-written — with a smattering of ice cream troubleshooting tips thrown in (read the techniques section, it’s fantastic!) — that there’s really no room for my input or modification. My only changes were to the ingredients: for the salted caramel I used Maldon sea salt instead of Kosher, and for the mint chocolate chip I increased the peppermint extract (by Simply Organic) to 1 1/2 teaspoons and only made half the chocolate chips. (And just in case you’re wondering — because I sure would be — I purchased my copy with my own cash, and am not receiving any kickbacks or anything else from the publisher or Bi-Rite Creamery for the emphatic recommendation. I am simply hugely impressed by the book.)

By all means, the pizzelle can be enjoyed on their own — or with your morning cup-o-joe, the steam softening the crisp cookie slightly when perched on the edge just so. But when paired with a couple, small scoops of ice cream, they’re a fantastic way to usher in summer, and even get in a little culinary adventuring in — Italy! San Francisco! — without leaving home.

(Oh, and pardon my ice cream cone pose. I was still in full-on bridesmaid-holds-bouquet-at-waist-with-both-hands-when-posing-for-photos-mode a few days after my sister- and brother-in-law’s wedding.)

mint chocolate chip on a pizzelle cone

Pizzelle

(heavily adapted from Food.com)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 30 – 45 seconds per batch
Makes: 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 23 grams (3 tablespoons) millet flour
  • 23 grams (3 tablespoons) garbanzo fava flour
  • 24 grams (2 tablespoons) potato starch
  • 8 grams (1 tablespoon) arrowroot starch
  • 8 grams (1 tablespoon) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 64 grams (1/3 cup) evaporated cane juice or granulated white sugar
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) canola oil
  • 21 grams (1 1/2 tablespoons) pure vanilla extract²

Instructions

Make Batter:

Preheat electric pizzella baker³. In a small bowl, whisk together millet flour through baking powder; set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium-high speed until thickened and about doubled in volume (about 3 minutes). With mixer still running, sprinkle in evaporated cane juice (or sugar) and mix until combined (about 30 seconds). Keep the mixer going and drizzle in oil and extract; continue mixing until thoroughly blended (about 30 seconds). Turn mixer to low and add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium, and mix until batter is smooth and slightly thickened (about 30 seconds – 1 minute), scraping down the bowl half way through if needed.

Bake Pizzelle:

For 5″ pizzella grids, scoop about 1 tablespoon (a #70 portion scoop is perfect for this!) of batter onto each grid. I’ve found that the best placement is centered along the vertical axis, but slightly off-center, above, the horizontal one (to be clear, closer to the hinge side) — it can take a couple tries to get it just right.

Close lid, latch the handle and bake for about 30 – 45 seconds or until desired color is reached. Some batches cook more quickly or slowly than others, a good way to gauge doneness is by watching the steam escape from the machine. When it slows greatly (or ceases) the pizzella is done. Remove both quickly to a cooling rack, lay flat. For cones, remove one and, working quickly with light fingers (it will be really HOT!), fashion into a cone shape; place on cooling rack, seam side down. Repeat with second, hot pizzella.

Store Pizzelle:

Once cooled, pizzelle can be stacked, placed in a large storage or freezer bag (remove as much air as possible without crushing them) and stored at room temperature for a couple days or longer (if they don’t disappear on you first, 24 hours is usually how long I can manage before they’re gone) or in the freezer (again, I don’t have an exact maximum storage time right now … trying to save some). Humidity’s been hovering at about 80 – 90% around here, and both my room temp and freezer pizzelle are both as crispy as they were about 18 hours ago!

Notes

¹ Once upon a time I was a practicing accountant (financial statement auditor, not tax); it still slips in from time to time (actually quite often, just not here).

² For anise flavored pizzelle, substitute 14 grams or 1 tablespoon pure anise extract for the vanilla.

³ My pizzelle baker is no longer in production (VillaWare Prego! Pizzelle Baker), but the linked one by CucinaPro appears to be very similar in construction, with 5″ grids and a solid five star review.

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