Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My aunt, grandparents and I baked a ton of cookies last Friday: chocolate chip, anisette toast (same thing as biscotti), almond cookies filled with raspberry jam, snickerdoodles (recipe forthcoming)...and the prettiest cookies of all, pizzelles. You can buy them in a plastic tub at the grocery store, but as with everything else in life, the homemade kind is infinitely better. Here are a few shots of my grandfather baking pizzelles using a waffle iron that's at least sixty years old.

'Fante's, 1006 E. 9th St., Phila. PA'

He melts some butter on the iron, drops a gob of dough on, closes it, and leaves it on the open flame for twenty seconds or so, flipping the iron midway through and cooking for another twenty seconds.

It takes up to ten minutes for the iron to get good and hot, so the first half dozen cookies weren't golden brown like they ideally would be.

Here's my grandparents' recipe, should you like to try your hand with an electric iron like this one (or look for an old-school iron on eBay, knock yourself out):
6 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. vanilla or anise
1/2 lb. butter or margarine
half orange rind and juice
Whisk eggs and add sugar gradually, beating until smooth. Add cooled butter and flavoring. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to egg mixture. Dough should be sticky enough to drop by spoonful.

My crazy 84-year-old grandfather doubled this recipe and stood at the stove for four and a half hours without a break, baking these pizzelles one at a time, blithely ignoring our pleas for him to sit down and rest. Crazy, I tell you.

They taste great with eggnog.


Kate said...

I really wish I could have been there! The house must have been overflowing with pizzelles. At least I'll reap the rewards...I hope ;)

Susan said...

I am hooked on the biscotti! I am having one with my coffee as I read your blog!!