Friday, July 15, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Pizzelle - Italian Lace Cookies / Waffle Recipe

I should call this post Pizzelle, more or less.

I've been dreading this recipe.
The recipe isn't hard.
It doesn't have any exotic ingredients.
Well, except for one item.

If you don't have a Pizzelle iron, you'll understand.  
That's right, a Pizzelle iron.

In the Holidays chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with the Sopranos, there's a recipe for Pizzelle, also called lace cookies.

Since I started this Soprano cooking project, I wanted to make Pizzelle.
I wanted to make this for a holiday.
Christmas, Easter, St. Joseph's... I didn't care.
But, I haven't been able to find a Pizzelle iron.
No kidding.
And I'm almost done with the cookbook.
A dozen recipes to go.
It's now or never.

I called my Italian cousin.
Between giggles, she explained that a Pizzelle iron is a fancy sort of waffle iron.  
First you make the batter, then you heat the Pizzelle iron on top of the stove until the iron is hot.  
You grease the iron, then pour on a spoonful of batter and bake 1 minute.  
Then you turn the iron over and cook until the other side is golden.
Using a spatula, you transfer the cookie to a wire rack to cool.  Repeat.

Howling with laughter, she then said nobody makes the damn things any more.
Too much trouble.
Only an idiot would manufacture a Pizzelle iron.
It wouldn't sell.
They're the edsels of cookie making equipment.

I'm supposed to believe Carmela makes these things.
Yeah, right, yank my other leg.

Okay... I have a waffle iron. 
Let's treat this like a regular waffle recipe.

If you don't have anise extract (it tastes like licorice) use 1 Tablespoon vanilla.
About the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon lemon extract works, too.

Lousy cookies....


Sift together
3 1/2 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt

In a large bowl beat together
1 1/2 Cups sugar
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Add, one at a time, beating well after each 
6 large eggs
Stir in the dry ingredients until blended.

Preheat the Pizzelle iron or waffle iron.
Grease and cook as explained above.

Store the cookies in an airtight container.

According to Carmela, these keep for weeks.
Yeah, my cousin said, because nobody like them.

Would I make Pizzelle again?
Hell, no.
Lousy cookies.
Not bad as a waffle, though.

Another recipe down.  Twelve more to go. 

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