Pizzelle; a traditional Italian waffle cookie

Creative Project

Pizzelle
Video of the process to make pizzelle

Recipe

Ingredients

3 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup melted and cooled butter

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl of your electric mixer, beat eggs.
  3. Gradually beat in sugar.
  4. Add vanilla and cooled melted butter. Mix well.
  5. Gradually add in flour mixture and beat until smooth. Batter should be thicker than pancake batter but not quite as thick as peanut butter
  6. Drop approximately 1 tablespoon of batter onto the pizzelle iron
  7. Cook for 30–35 seconds
  8. Add powdered sugar on top of cooked pizzelle

Food is at the center of the Italian culture and has been a big part of the Italian traditions that have been passed on to my generation. I wouldn’t say that my immediate family is traditional Italian because my father isn’t Italian and we don’t do a lot of the common practices traditional Italians do; we don’t attend Catholic church, we don’t eat fish at Christmas, and we don’t speak Italian. Though I wish more Italian traditions were passed down to me, one thing that wasn’t left behind was Italian food. The recipes and dishes my great grandmother used to make were taught to my Nonna and then to my mother. Since my mother was the oldest girl in the family, she did a lot of the cooking and cleaning. She was able to learn how to make traditional Italian food like ravioli, lasagna, and meatballs. A lot of the meals she cooks for my family now are Italian and it’s by far the type of food I enjoy the most. My favorite part of each meal is always dessert, especially Italian desserts. My Nonna always makes crostata, which is similar to pie, cannolis, lemon cookies, biscotti, which is an almond biscuit, and pizzelle.

Pizzelle is a traditional Italian waffle cookie that my family has been making for many generations. Pizzelle in Italian means flat and round and originated in the Abruzzo region of Italy, which is where my family is from. This traditional Italian cookie was created in the 8th century and is said to be one of the oldest cookies in history. It’s made by putting batter similar to what you use for waffles in between two iron plates. These plates usually have designs and many people have irons with their family crest or important dates on them. The originality of each iron makes the pizzelle special to each family. My Nonna and my mother both have pizzelle irons that they have been using for many years. It’s rare to have an Italian event without pizzelle. For the holidays my family and I make hundreds of these cookies. All of my family members love pizzelle, especially my grandfather and mother.

The video I made (shown above) gives a brief step-by-step presentation on how to make pizzelle. It is fairly easy and only requires a couple ingredients as do most Italian dishes. Through this project, I have learned a lot about the traditions my grandfather and his family practiced, but many of them my mother didn’t pass onto my brothers and I. However, Italian food is a tradition that hasn’t died in my family and hopefully will continue to be passed down throughout many generations because it represents our heritage and the Italian culture that my grandfather and grandmother brought from Italy.

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