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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     No it is not deja vu all over again.  These cookies are not the same as last weeks post they just look like their identical twin.  This week I made Pizzelles (pronounced: Pete's-sell-lays), wonderful anise flavored Italian waffle cookies.  Last week I posted a recipe for Lukken, the buttery Belgian waffle cookie.  Both cookies are made with a cookie waffle iron.  Both are soft when hot and hard and crisp when cooled.  When hot both these cookies can be shaped into cone, tubular or cup forms.  Pizzelle (Pete's-sell) are lighter than the Lukken and the batter is thick, soft and easy to scoop out.  The Lukken dough is chilled for a few hours and made into firm balls before cooking on the waffle iron. 
     We are having a hot spell here, about 90 degrees and very humid.  Not the weather when I want to turn on the oven.  Baking cookies in the special Pizzelle waffle iron is a good alternative to oven baking.  Plus the cookies can be made into delicious bowls or cones to enjoy a cool treat like ice cream or, as they do in Scandinavia, whipped cream with lingonberry jam mixed in.  
     When cooking the Pizzelles in the special waffle maker be sure to lock the lid.  There is moisture in the dough that steams out when cooking and it also made the lid on my machine push up as if someone was trying to get out.  On my machine it took 40 seconds to cook.  It will be necessary to experiment with one or two cookies to get the right timing for your machine.  I used a scoop that measures 1 1/2-inches and scooped out heaping scoopfuls of batter.  Each scoop of dough weighted 7/8 ounce.  A flat scoopful of dough did not fill the whole circle form and the rounded scoop sometimes would overfill the form.  Not sure of the secret to the perfect amount of dough to use.  I used a kitchen shears to trim the ones with excess dough.
     I have one of the new Pizzelle makers that are non-stick coated so no greasing was necessary.  If using a maker that is not coated it is a good idea to use oil, spray, or butter on the waffle iron forms before placing the dough inside.
    I found that placing the dough just to the back of the center of each circle filled the form more evenly.  When the lid is closed it pushes dough forward as it presses down and closes.  The back of the form will not fill completely if you place a scoop of dough exactly in the center. 
     I found that if I used too much dough, and did not cook the cookies longer to compensate for the thicker cookie, the Pizzelles stayed a bit soft and did not get crisp like the thinner cookies.  I prefer the thinner crisp texture so I used the rounded scoop.
     I never made them before and looked for a recipe online.  There is some controversy about using baking powder as it will make them rise too much and affect the texture.  I used a recipe with no baking powder and converted it into a gluten free one.  The recipe was posted by Brown Eyed Baker on her blog.  
     There was also some discussion about the amount of anise to use and what type of flavoring.  I used anise extract as I had it on hand from an attempt at making licorice candy.  I used the amount directed in the recipe and then, after the first cookies did not have a strong enough anise flavor, I used another tsp. of flavoring.  The anise flavor was still very subtle.  Some comments online suggested using 2 1/2 tsp. of ground anise seeds in addition to the anise extract to give a stronger anise flavor.  Another comment suggested using anise oil or Sambuco (an anise-flavored liqueur) instead of extract. I did not have any of these on hand, but would try these next time as I would have liked a stronger anise flavor.  Of course, if anise is not to your liking just use all vanilla extract or add some almond extract with the vanilla.

Makes about 20 cookies

3 Large Eggs
1/2 cup-1 stick Unsalted butter-melted OR a vegetable oil such as canola OR olive or margarine-melted.
3/4 cups Sugar (I used evaporated cane juice crystals)
pinch Sea Salt
1 tsp. Anise extract (or to taste)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Sorghum Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum

  1. Beat eggs on medium speed until pale and thick.
  2. Add the melted butter (margarine or oil) and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the extracts and blend in well.
  5. In a separate bowl add the flours, salt, and xanthan gum and mix well with a whisk or fork. 
  6. Add the flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the egg mixture mixing after each addition until well incorporated.  
    Dough all finished.
  7. Preheat the Pizzelle iron.
    Heaping scoopful of batter.
  8. Add batter by the heaping tablespoon or 1 1/2-inch scoop  (about 7/8 ounce) to each circle on the iron.  Close the lid and lock securely.
    Note the steam coming out of the machine as the Pizzelles cook.
  9. Cook until lightly golden, about 40 seconds on my machine.  You will need to try one or two on your machine to get the right timing.
    This is Lukken dough (the photo of the Pizzelle dough did not come out) placed to the rear of center.
    Pizzelles all done.
  10. Remove the Pizzelle with tongs on let cool on a flat rack.  If you want to make shapes such as tubes, bowls or cones you must shape the hot cookies on the forms or in the bowls.  When cool remove the cookies form the forms or bowls and they will keep their shape.
    Hot and soft cookies removed with wooden tongs
     (again this is a photo of Lukken...I forgot to take a photo of removing the Pizzelles.).
  11. Store cookies in airtight containers for several weeks.

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