Pizzelle are crispy, waffle like Italian cookies that are extremely versatile. Originally from the Abruzzo region in south central Italy, they can be found today all over Italy, and are most popular during Christmas and Easter. They are wonderful with your coffee or tea, or you can slather on your favorite ice cream, or Nutella and banana slices, and make a fancy dessert sandwich. If you have a pizzelle maker, which are available online at amazon.com, you can mold them into whatever shape you like. You can fashion a cone using a wooden dowel, and fill the interior with berries for a light fruit dessert, and of course this works very well as an ice cream cone.
Pizzelle can also be used for cannoli, if you would like a healther alternative to the usual fried cannoli pastry. Cannoli forms can be found in most specialty kitchen stores for under $10. Simply wrap the still-warm cookie around the form, and slip it off once the cookie has cooled. Fill it with sweetened ricotta, chocolate chips and/or bits of candied fruit, and you have homemade cannoli!
The batter consists of flour, eggs, sugar and oil/butter, and a flavoring. Anise, lemon zest and vanilla extract are the most popular flavorings for pizzelle. An excellent recipe for pizelle batter can be found at this link.
You may find pizzelle in your grocery store! I have seen pizzelle for sale in Kroger on Edmondson Pike, right here in Nashville. Pizzelle can also be purchased at Lazzaroli Pasta, in the Germantown neighborhood in Nashville.
If you have the time and/or inclination, you cannot beat homemade pizzelle. Your house will smell like waffle heaven, and you will be rewarded with a crispy treat!