Sunday, January 6, 2013
Pizzelles and Making Ice Cream Cups
I'm getting ready to show you my temporary kitchen, but before I do that, I'd like to share with you a cookie that requires NO oven - the pizzelle! My daughter missed having pizzelles at Christmas this year, so we spent a little time yesterday making them.
The only caveat is that you need a pizzelle iron, or ice cream cone maker. Pizzelle irons make smaller 4" rounds than ice cream cone makers which make 7" rounds, but otherwise they are essentially the same thing. It is also useful to have a small cookie scoop for portioning the batter.
I liked the idea of having these cookies with ice cream, but the rounds were too small to make cones so we improvised a bit and made small ice cream cups. I used small custard cups to mold them, but you could use a bigger bowl like a cereal bowl or even drape the cookie over the bottom of the upside-down bowl to make bigger, wider cups. The trick is to immediately place the warm cookie right from the iron into the bowl. Keep the bowls next to the iron and don't hesitate, because as soon as the cookies cool for a few seconds, they get crispy and are unable to press into the bowl without cracking.
After the cups cool, they will hold their shape. You can change the flavorings in the recipe to suit your taste and to suit the ice cream flavors and toppings you will serve it with. For eating just plain cookies, I like to use anise and vanilla extracts with lemon and orange zests. The anise is not at all overpowering and it will smell stronger in the batter than it will in the finished cookie. For eating with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and chocolate sauce like we did, you might want to omit all flavorings except the vanilla so the flavors don't compete. These little cups take your ice cream dessert to a whole new level and provides an impressive presentation with very little effort - and without turning on your oven!
Makes about 20-25 cookies
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp anise extract
zest of 1/2 a lemon
zest of 1/2 an orange
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream together the sugar and melted butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add the extracts and zests. Add the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Scoop batter onto pizzelle iron with a small cookie scoop or according to your pizzelle maker's instructions and bake until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cookies will become crispy as they cool.
If shaping your pizzelles into bowls, immediately place the hot pizzelle into a bowl, pressing very gently, but working very quickly before the cookie has a chance to cool. Let cool in the bowl before removing. Store cooled pizzelles in an airtight container up to 5 days.