Perhaps a bit of a niche dessert, pizzelles are a traditional Italian cookie made with fairly basic ingredients. Commonly served during holidays and family events, the uniqueness of pizzelles comes from their pressed waffle-like shape. While the ingredients and general technique are fairly straightforward, it’s not very easy for a beginner to make using traditional methods—with a modern electric pizzelle maker, anyone can make these delicious cookies at home.
What is a Pizzelle Maker?
Seeing as they are made similarly to waffles, a pizzelle maker might look just like a waffle iron at first glance. They work just about the same, too—you pour batter into the heated iron plates and lock the pizzelles maker shut. However, pizzelle makers are typically accompanied by intricate designs that imprint a decorative aesthetic onto your cookies. Essentially, the end result is thinner and easier on the eye.
Pizzelle makers can come in different styles and designs, so the “best pizzelle maker” is really down to personal preference and taste. Non-stick surfaces don’t require as much prep and greasing, but are also less durable than the sturdier surfaces like cast iron. At the same time, you have the choice of the shape and thickness of your pizzelles, and when you add in the variety in designs, there are many pizzelle makers to choose from.
Why Buy a Pizzelle Cookies Maker?
Pizzelles are a fantastic snack to spruce up your dining room or coffee table; their beautiful designs are sure to complement any kitchen. They are tasty, very appealing, and above all, very easy to make at home, provided you have the right pizzelle maker. The next time you celebrate Easter or Christmas, having a decorative bundle of these is sure to brighten up your table.
Because they are so easy to make, they are a great option for when you (or your kids) want a quick snack. In addition, you only need a few common kitchen ingredients to make them—like flour and butter—as such, making pizzelles is not only easy but budget-friendly. All in all, pizzelles make a great case for the best-looking and simplest dessert to make.
Pizzelle makers are very easy to use and don’t take up much space on your kitchen counter. If you get a handheld version (rather than an electric one), storage becomes even less of an issue, and it isn’t much harder to operate, either. If you’re hankering to bake but don’t know where to start, pizzelle makers are so simple to use it won’t even feel like baking. The end result, of course, is an intricate, tasty, and very simple treat to celebrate holidays or just embellish your home.
Types of Pizzelle Irons
There are several kinds of pizzelle makers, ranging from the basic plates to heat up on your stove to the more easy-to-use electric plate mechanism. Different models offer different sizes, ranging from 3-inch to 5-inch pizzelles. Depending on the kind you want, some makers might be more suited to your needs. In addition, if you have zero baking experience, there are still modern electric options that make the process extremely easy to follow.
For a more traditional feel, you might consider a cast-iron handheld pizzelle maker. With this type, you have to hold the maker over your stovetop, and manually press the batter with a handle. It’s not a very complicated mechanism but certainly requires you to be a little more involved in the pizzelle making process. You have to be mindful of the heat a cast-iron press can produce, and how long it may take to cool down once you’re finished. Otherwise, while these types are typically pricier, they’re easier to store and give you a more “authentic” feel.
On the other hand, you could go for a more modern variant which offers a more simple method of baking. With these, you don’t have to worry about getting the heat right or having your stove incapacitated for a while. While they are bulkier, all you need to get an electric pizzelle press running is a power outlet. They usually let you control the temperature with preset modes that ensure no accidents occur. In addition, they are typically non-stick, meaning you don’t necessarily have to grease up the press before use. Finally, it might be the best option if you need to make a batch in a hurry, with some electric models allowing for 4 pizzelles at a time—though, these are usually the 3-inch kind.
Essentially, manual pizzelle makers require a little more time and effort but are far more durable and easier to clean than their electric counterparts. On the other hand, if you’re looking for the easiest possible way to make pizzelles, an electric model could be up your alley and is usually cheaper as well.
How to Use a Pizzelle Press
Pizzelle makers are quite easy to use—if you’ve ever used a waffle iron, it’s essentially the same mechanism. Once your batter is ready, get comfortable, and place your pizzelle maker in an accessible spot with enough space around it to prevent spillage or heat-related accidents. Of course, if you opted for a stovetop maker, you only really have one choice.
Once you’ve chosen your spot and are ready to go, open up the pizzelle maker and gently spread oil across the forms—this will not only make the pizzelles easier to take out after but will make the cleaning process easier afterward. Let your pizzelle iron heat up—electric makers typically have a way of signaling that it’s ready for the batter. Read your manual to make sure you understand the lights or sounds your model makes and what they mean for the baking process.
Once the iron is thoroughly heated, gently place your batter in the center of the patterns on your press. Depending on how viscous your batter is, you might have to spread it around before clamping it down. Once the batter is spread, lock your press with the handle—or the applicable lock mechanism—and wait. Take them back out once they’re the desired crispiness or chewiness. You could even experiment with different times to see which consistency you prefer your pizzelles to be. If required, dab some more oil in between batches to minimize sticking.
Once you’re done, unplug your electric pizzelle maker or turn off the stove—wait for your respective model to cool down before you move on to cleaning. Keeping the iron open might help it cool down faster.
How to Clean Your Pizzelle Maker
Luckily, returning a pizzelle back to its stainless form is just as easy as using it. Once you’ve put out (or eaten) your pizzelles and the maker has cooled down, it’s time to clean it for future use. Some electric models let you remove the plates for individual cleaning, so if your model has this feature, you’re in luck. Simply remove the plates and wash them with soap and water, making sure to remove any grease or leftover batter. Once you’ve thoroughly washed the plates, leave them to dry before you lock them back on your press.
If you don’t have a non-stick pizzelle maker or didn’t seem to apply enough oil while baking, you might find some annoying specks of batter stuck on your iron. While it makes the pizzelle maker harder to clean, it’s not impossible. First, wipe the surface with a dry paper towel, catching any oil and flicking any batter off the press. If the batter doesn’t budge, dab it with soapy water or cooking oil to moisten it back up. Repeat the process until there are no flakes remaining, and wipe the surface again with soap and water. Once it’s clean, wipe the surface with a paper towel to dry it off and ensure it remains stainless. Check to make sure your handle is clean as well. Remember to wait until your iron is completely dry before using it again.
Conclusion — Pros and Cons of Pizzelle Makers
Pizzelle makers are one of the simplest ways to cook up an intricate and delicious snack, especially for a special occasion. They brighten up your table and are a great pairing with Easter or Christmas platters. With a pizzelle press (especially a simple, modern one), an average person could become a baker for a day—these appliances make it extremely simple to make a batch of pizzelles. They don’t require a lot of storage space, either—most models are only around 10 inches in length.
While they are very easy to use, pizzelle makers can be quite pricey. A solid model might run you upwards of $100, so it’s entirely up to you if that is worth it. In addition, cheaper, non-stick models might be a pain to clean every time, and the process can often get messy. These are minor drawbacks, of course, as the benefits of a pizzelle maker greatly outweigh the negatives. If you’re looking for one of the easiest ways to get into baking, pizzelle makers are certainly worth a look.