Pizzelle and Cannoli Filling Recipes
The basic pizzelle recipe has undergone little change through the years. However, there are variations based on selection of cooking oils, including butter, margarine, vegetable oil or shortening, and of course many flavorings, including anise, vanilla, or almond extract. Even rum extracts and whisky are used by some in pizzelles. One thing is for sure — Pizzelles are among our favorite cookies. Enjoy the following holiday cookie recipes any time of the year.
The fundamental ingredients of the pizzelle are eggs, flour, and sugar. The relative amount of these ingredients can be varied slighly to match your preferences of taste and texture.
Once all ingredients are fully blended, select and test the batter using a small teaspoon or a demi-tasse spoon that you plan to use for dispensing and dropping the batter onto the pizzelle patterns. Consistency of the batter will be stiff, but it should be adjusted until it drops off the spoon as a ribbon in two to three seconds.
The spoon will retain some of the mix. If the mix seems too stiff, stir in one or two tablespoons of water and retest the flow from the spoon. If the mix seems too thin, blend into the mix a few tablespoons, or enough, flour to give the right consistency.
You can adjust slightly the amount of baking powder in any recipe. It is necessary to use just enough to ensure that the three pizzelles fill out completely during the baking cycle. More than that will do little for the texture and increase the likelihood that the thickness of the pizzelles will exceed the 3/16 inch designated thickness.
Commonly, pizzelle recipes use 3, 6, or 12 eggs. Most recipes start with 6 eggs, which will make about 150 pizzelles in the PizzellePro®.
You can save time by using a packaged mix specially formulated for the Chef’sChoice® PizzellePro®. On the other hand, there are many fine, “from scratch” recipes, such as the family recipe from Caterina Casola of Buffalo, New York. This recipe has been handed down more generations in Italy than her family can remember. Each year her delicious recipe has been used to produce thousands of pizzelles eagerly awaited by the family and a host of friends.
Baking Procedures (applies to all recipes unless otherwise indicated)
Once mixed, the mixture will be sticky and stiff. Test by dropping the mixture from a small teaspoon or demi-tasse spoon. As needed, add a few tablespoons of water so that the mix drops conveniently as a ribbon in two to three seconds. If the mix is too thin, add a few tablespoons of flour.
Set the Color Control Dial of the PizzellePro® to about 3 – 3 ½ and bake using the red/green light cycle for timing. Alternatively, bake for approximately 45 seconds, open the lid briefly to examine the color, and bake longer as desired to create a darker/browner surface. The baking time can be shortened slightly by increasing the Color Control Dial reading about ½ unit.
You can use Crisco, margarine or equivalent shortening as a direct substitute for butter using the quantity called for in the recipe. The quantity of sugar can be varied slightly but if the mix becomes too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to adjust the stiffness and flow of the mix. Other flavorants such as almond extract, nut oil, rum extract, sweet wine or liquors can add novelty to your party pizzelles.
Entertaining with Cannolis and Other Pizzelle Delicacies
It is not surprising that Italy, cradle of some of the world’s finest cuisine, created the pizzelle and found almost magical ways to use the pizzelle as the foundation for an even greater range of taste sensations. Perhaps the cannoli is the most popular of these pastries. Like the pizzelle itself, the variations are endless and an opportunity to explore delicacies with your own favorite fillings, fruits, and flavorings. The cannoli shell is formed by wrapping the hot pizzelle immediately as it is removed from the PizzellePro® around a wooden dowel rod, a metal rod or cylinder, or a cylindrical spoon handle about ⅞ inches in diameter. Because this wrapping can be done only while the pizzelle is still very hot, you will find it helpful to: (a) quickly roll the pizzelle around the form; (b) locate the area of overlap (where the pizzelle overlaps itself); (c) then hold onto the form, press and hold that overlap area down on a flat hard surface for a few seconds while the pizzelle cools into a rigid cylindrical form. Practice does help. If, as an alternative, the pizzelle is wrapped around a small wooden or metal cone, a cone-shaped pizzelle shell can be created. The round or cone-shaped shells formed as described above can be filled with any of the following delicious cannoli recipes, kindly provided by Caterina Casola of Buffalo, New York and Marie Doria of Chicago, Illinois.
Delicious Variations of the Cannolis and Pizzelle Pastries
Pizzelle shells can be used in a variety of other ways. Consider alternate fillings such as thick flavored custards, heavy puddings, whipping cream (plain or with powdered sugar), meringue, or cheese cake. It is possible to create attractive pastry baskets by quickly forming the pizzelle, while still hot, over the base of a small, flat-bottomed glass or cup. These small baskets can be filled with any of the foods listed above or they can be used as individualized decorative containers for raspberries, chopped peaches, cherries, and other favorite fruits or candies. Chocolate covered pizzelles or cannoli shells are another special treat. To melt the chocolate, place it in a bowl and heat in the microwave or in a saucepan on low heat, stirring periodically as it melts. Simply dip the end or the entire pizzelle shell (plain or chocolate) in melted dipping-chocolate and allow to cool at room temperature; or, to cool it faster, place it in the refrigerator.