A pizzelle is an Italian waffle cookie that is gaining in popularity thanks to the invention of the pizzelle maker. This is a traditional pastry and is based on the ancient Roman crustulum cookie. This makes it one of the oldest known cookies in the world. It is most popular at Christmastime, Easter, and at Italian weddings.
They can be eaten as they are, but they are often rolled while still hot with a wooden dowel. They can then be filled with cannoli cream or another sweet filling. The filling can also be spread between two cookies to make a sandwhich.
Some people make pizzelles by hand. The ingredients for this cookie is fairly simple. You'll need flour, butter or margarine, eggs, sugar, and flavoring. The most common flavorings are anise, vanilla, and lemon zest, but you can experiment here and bake something like a chocolate pizzelle if you would like. You would make the batter and then pour it into a pizelle iron which you would hold over the stove. This iron would add a snowflake pattern.
Most people don't have time to make these waffle cookies by hand anymore. Fortunately, there are several electric pizzelle makers on the market which will allow you to whip up a batch in a couple of minutes. You can still make the recipe from scratch, or you can buy premade mixes if you don't like to cook. Here are reviews of some of the best selling electric pizzelle irons.
VillaWare Pizzelle Maker
The VillaWare V3600-NS Prego Nonstick Pizzelle Baker is one of the best selling brands and models there is. It has over 100 reviews on Amazon and it has an average rating of five stars. Its list price is $50, but you can usually find it for around $40.
This iron bakes two cookies at a time. Each one is five inches big, which is a standard size for this waffle cookie. It works quickly and it only takes thirty seconds to cook. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to make a large batch for Christmas.
The VillaWare pizzelle maker has the features that you would expect from a quality small kitchen appliance. The inside surface is nonstick and easy to clean. An indicator light lets you know when it is ready. It is fairly safe to use with a steam guard. Of course, children should avoid using this, especially unsupervised.
Many people are wary about buying single-use kitchen appliances since they can take up so much space but may rarely be used. While how often you use it is up to you, it does have a small footprint so the first concern isn't a problem. Its dimensions are 15" x 12" x 4" and it can stand up to take up less space in storage.
Cuisinart Pizzelle Press
The Cuisinart WM-PZ2 Pizzelle Press is almost as popular as the VillaWare, but it doesn't have quite as good of ratings. It too has over 100 reviews on Amazon, but it has an average rating of four stars instead of five. This is still a good rating, but since it costs about the same as the VillaWare most people will choose that brand instead.
It also makes two cookies at a time. At four inches, these sweets are a bit smaller but not by much.With dimensions of 9.5 x 9.5 x 4.8 inches and the ability to stand on its side, this is an even better choice for anyone who has a small kitchen.
It has many of the same features as the VillaWare model. It has an indicator light that glows red and green to let you know when it is ready. You can adjust the temperature between five different settings so you shouldn't have a problem getting it browned to the level that you desire. It takes a minute for the pizzelle maker to bake the cookies. It reheats quickly, so you won't have to stay in your kitchen all night if you want to make several at a time.
CucinaPro Pizzelle Baker
The CucinaPro 220-03 Piccolo Pizzelle Baker is the choice for people who are hoping to make more than two waffle cookies at a time. It makes four at a time. They are each 3.25 inches large, which makes them smaller than the ones made by the other brands. The surface is nonstick, so it cleans up easily after each use.
This isn't a bad model, but I don't recommend it as highly as the others. It only has nine reviews on Amazon, so it is impossible to tell if there are any common problems with this model. Its average rating is just three and a half stars. Since there aren't a lot of reviews, it is impossible to tell if the problems are a fluke or a regular occurrence. On top of that, this is more expensive than the other brands mentioned. Only buy this if you want to make four at a time or if you prefer having smaller pizzelle cookies.
Where to Buy Pizzelle Makers
You have several options for buying pizzelle makers. If you are lucky, you'll be able to find one on Craigslist or at a garage sale barely used. Many people buy small kitchen appliances that they rarely use and then sell for a good discount. If you come across one of these, snatch it up. You won't be covered under the warranty, but the discount usually makes it worth it.
Depending on where you live, it can be tough to find electric pizzelle irons in stores. Fortunately the internet has a good selection. You can try a cooking specialty store or go with a discount retailer like Amazon. Look for places that offer free shipping.
After you have purchased your iron, make sure that you get plenty of use out of it. People love to receive pizzelle cookies at Christmas. Anyone who has Italian grandparents will probably be transported back to their childhood with that gift. People without Italian ancestry might have never had any before, so you'll be able to introduce this delicious dessert.