30 Dec 2012
Christmas is my favorite time of year thanks to my incredible grandmother who is no longer with us, but her decades-old pizzelle maker is still around and given we made those cookies together every year, she lives strongly through that tradition. This year I had the challenge of making them gluten free, and well, what can I say? They turned out PERFECT.
If you’ve never had a pizzelle before I hope we can change that soon. It’s an Italian wafer cookie that really tastes like the most delicious waffle cone you can dream of. They are very versatile and can be made to taste like anise, vanilla, almond, chocolate – the possibilites are endless. Anise is very traditional (my least favorite because I don’t love licorice), but vanilla and chocolate are the staples in our house.
We simply use the recipe that came with the machine – my grandmother didn’t like a lot of fuss, and given the internet didn’t exist back then, she hardly had the opportunity to explore hundreds of recipe options. Last year after having to go gluten free, I didn’t make pizzelles and it was the first Christmas of my whole life that I didn’t have this delicious treat. Well, needless to say, this year I am more confident in my cooking and was determined to make these without the traditional white flour that the recipe calls for. I swapped it out for my favorite standby – Cup 4 Cup flour – and the taste and texture was absolute perfection. My family couldn’t tell any difference from what my grandmother had always made, either. A complete Christmas win in my book.
Now, if you have a pizzelle press and you’ve been wanting to make these gluten free, this is your recipe. I promise it’s incredible. If you don’t have one, you can buy one here, or at your local Bed Bath & Beyond or Crate & Barrel. Even though these are a Christmas tradition in my family, they’re really suitable for year-round making and eating. I think they’d be just delicious with a fresh strawberry ice cream in the summer, or made into an ice cream sandwich with some vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche. Chris likes to pile the chocolate cookies high with fresh whipped cream – it’s like a more natural and delicious version of an Oreo. Really, they’re an amazing blank canvas. The recipe is at the end of the post, so give it a try!
I have been seriously relishing in my time off this holiday and doing absolutely NOTHING. I managed to do laundry a couple of days ago and 80% of it was pajamas, so even my wardrobe choices are based in pure comfort and laziness. We hosted Christmas at our house this year and it was just lovely. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Chris’ family in town which was a bummer, but we were able to talk to them Christmas Day via Face Time on our iPads which was great.
Here are some pictures from our lovely Christmas Eve. In addition to the pizzelles, I made these wonderful coconut macaroons for dessert. Naturally gluten free, they’re easy and sure to please even your guests or family members who don’t like coconut. Chris has been eating them all week and coconut is not on his list of loves.
Shai loved hanging out under the tree this year. He always thinks he’s the best present, so it’s no surprise. Cats and narcissism go hand-in-hand.
Our sweet Chloe loved posing in her Christmas collar.
We had such a wonderful holiday together and were blessed with an abundance of wonderful wine, incredible food, and most of all lots of love. I hope your holidays were fantastic as well!
Gluten Free Pizzelles
Makes about 60 cookies (sounds like a lot, but trust me, you’ll likely want to double it)
- 6 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups Cup 4 Cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter, melted & cooled*
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Cooking spray for greasing the press
*Do not use an oil substitute because it will severely alter the texture of the cookies.
If making chocolate pizzelles, sift the below ingredients along with the dry ingredients listed above:
- 1/2 cup of coco powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1. Beat eggs and add sugar gradually, beating until smooth
2. Add cooled, melted butter and vanilla extract to eggs and sugar
3. Sift flour and baking powder (and additional chocolate ingredients if making chocolate cookies) and add to egg mixture. Dough will be sticky enough to be dropped by spoon fulls. I used a teaspoon and it worked well.
4. Grease your heated pizzelle press and begin making cookies by dropping a heaping teaspoon full of dough in the center of each grid pattern.
5. Cook for about 10-20 seconds or until the cookies are a very light brown. I used cooking spray to grease our press and had to repeat for every cookie because it’s so old. If you have a newer press, you likely won’t need to grease as often.
6. Repeat until all of your dough is used up and eat, eat, eat!
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