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Jingle Bells!

November 17, 2012

Italian Pizzelle

In case you need another reminder, Christmas is but 6 weeks away! The shops are adorned with decorations, the mince pies are on the shelves and yes, the carols are playing!!!!…… BAH HUMBUG!!

The best part of Christmas is the cooking (eating) of treats that would never be cooked throughout the rest of the year. We always glaze a leg of ham, have a steamed Christmas pudding and make mince pies. I would often make buttery shortbread and maybe even a gingerbread house too!!

This year I have gone for a change. I have done away with the normal Christmas pudding recipe and opted for a lighter no added sugar, gluten-free version. I am simplifying my menu and making eggnog ice-cream instead! This is much more conducive to our sub tropical climate here in sunny Queensland. To go with my ice-cream I am making a classic Italian biscuit called pizzelle.

More like a wafer than a biscuit, they are a perfect accompaniment to ice-cream and are dangerously moreish. Pizzelle can be thin and crispy or thicker and chewier. I prefer the thin crispy ones myself…. This recipe is a great traditional standard. You will find very similar recipes online, some with made melted butter, some with oil. The traditional recipe from Abruzzo, Italy, uses olive oil and is flavoured with anise seeds. I like to add a bit of sambuca to the mix also.

If anise isn’t your thing, the recipe is easily adaptable to be flavoured with ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, almond, whatever takes your fancy.

I have also been playing with a low carb, grain free recipe based on almonds which works well too. Let me know if you would like it.

You will need a pizzelle iron for this recipe and you can find them here.  A stove top iron will cost around $70 and they are happy to post. If you live in Brisbane I can arrange to get one for you! The traditional pattern is a snowflake pattern. Irons come in all sorts of patterns from waffle to flowers. My iron has a flower pattern and is designed to make one large pizzelle to be broken into quarters.

3 eggs
100g butter
140g sugar
Pinch salt
½  teas baking powder
2 teas anise seed
210g flour
1 tab rice flour
1 teas sambuca or liqueur
Rind of 1 lemon
Heat your pizzelle iron to be hot! A stove top one will take a few minutes on each side and an electric one will take 15 minutes.
Grind the sugar with the rind on SP 9 for 10 seconds. Add the butter and melt on 50⁰C SP 1 for 1 minute. Add rest of ingredients and mix on SP 6, 10 seconds.
Drop approximately a tablespoon of batter onto the center of the pizzelle iron. Close lid and allow to cook for about 45 seconds or until brown. Set aside to cool and store in a well sealed container. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
For cinnamon & almond biscuits, omit the lemon, anise & sambucca and add 1 teas of cinnamon & Amaretto liqueur.
For ginger spice, omit the anise & sambucca and add 2 teas of ground ginger & 1 teas rum.
These are just one of the things on the menu at my upcoming Christmas cooking class.


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