A few years ago my mom gave me a pizzelle press at Christmas, and I was obsessed with pizzelle making. Lesson guys: pizzelle is plural for pizzella, a single cookie. Pronounced: Peet-zell-eh plural or peet-zell-ah singular. I have made almond, chocolate, plain and lemon pizzelle, and all are delicious. The trick to making a perfectly formed crispy, thin, round and golden pizzella is really quite tricky. A perfect cookie is an elusive beast, hard to achieve, and almost impossible to hit with frequency. The amount of dough in the press, the consistency of the dough, and awareness of the steamy pressing of delicate cookies requires full attention. Even though the steamy kitchen and the slowly cooling tray of cookies will be hard to resist, pizzelle are best when completely cool, otherwise a still-warm cookie won’t be crisp. A lot of attention and patience will reward you with delicate, simple, cuter-than-Christmas cookies.
But what about savory pizzelle? This question has haunting me for years. I have unsatisfactorily attempted to create the savory cookie every year during pizzelle season (which lasts from December-January if you must know) and every year I have been bitterly disappointed. My first mistake was believing I could adapt a cracker recipe for the press (wrong). I committed this mistake several years in a row, before giving up and starting again. This year, I think I am on to something.
This year I went back to the original egg-based recipe, but omitted the sugar, added salt, a very hearty crank of pepper, minced thyme and rosemary, and about a cup of finely grated pecorino romano. I tinkered with the dough consistency before achieving a fairly-almost-perfect savory herbed cracker-cookie. Instead of trying to make perfect, large round cookies with this batch, I aimed for smaller, more manageable sized mini-cookies so they’d be better for topping with cheese or spreads. The variations for these cookie-crackers are endless, with different cheeses and herbs, maybe even some chili flakes? Everybody who owns a pizzelle press or can borrow one? Go knock yourselves out!
Savory Pizzelle -Recipe adapted from a sweet recipe, but this resource has many amazing variations.
makes about 20-25ish pizzelle
1 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cups flour (plus or minus a few tbsp)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp minced herbs
1/2 cup finely grated cheese (pecorino romano, parmesan, gruyere perhaps?)
While warming up your pizzelle press, melt butter and combine with eggs and whisk together until completely combined and a bit thicker, maybe 3-4 minutes. Add herbs, cheese and salt, then mix. Slowly fold in flour and baking powder until just combined, and all lumps are gone. The dough should be more of a thick batter, thicker than pancakes, but moister than a cookie dough. Depending on the size of your press, you’ll need to experiment with the amount of dough you add to the press. I add a little less than a tbsp using a spoon and small spatula, then I cook for about 1- 2 minutes. Your press will be different. Depending on your press you may need to add additional butter if your pizzelle start to stick. Remove pizzelle from press, and allow to cool completely before storing or eating. Pizzelle keep well for many days in a tightly sealed container.