A pizzelle is an ancient, traditional Italian waffle cookie made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, and flavoring. They were originally made on cast iron grills over a high heat. The word pizzelle means, loosely, “small, flat, and round” in Italian. A pizzelle can be hard and crisp or soft and chewy depending on the ingredients and method of preparation. It can be molded into various shapes, including in the shape of cannoli. These cookies were enjoyed originally by the people of the Abruzzo region of Italy.
I have seen pizzelles over the years in photos and have seen the waffle-iron-like grill in kitchen specialty stores. They have different designs depending on the different grills used. So when I came upon these Reko Pizzelle Cookies at one of our local grocery stores, I knew I had to try them.
I bought two packages of the Reko Pizzelle Italian Waffle Cookies with vanilla flavoring to experiment with for a fun recipe. This Canadian product has approximately 36-40 cookies per 7-ounce package. Each cookie has only 23 calories, no preservatives and no trans fat. The Reku pizzelle cookies also are made with anise flavoring, dark chocolate, maple flavoring, lemon flavoring, carmel-dulce de leche flavoring.
These thin cookies are very fragile, so always check the package you are buying for breakage and be careful transporting them home. If you are going to spread toppings on them, make certain the toppings are softened ahead of time, so that you won’t end up breaking the cookie as you spread.
To make what I call a Pizzelle Anytime Treat, think about what your favorite toppings are. You can make a two-cookie sandwich treat with virtually any topping you like. For example, between two of the pizzelles, you can use the following:
- Softened ice cream of your favorite flavor
- Pudding of your favorite kind
- Yogurt in your favorite flavor
- Whipped non-dairy topping–you may want to freeze them with the whipped spread before eating
- Fruit-flavored jams, preserves or all-fruit spreads of any variety
- Peanut butter
- Nutella or another hazelnut spread
- Marshmallow fluff
- Whipped flavored cream cheese
- Cake icing
- Lemon curd
If you make a very thick sandwich with ice cream, for instance, you could roll the sandwich in sprinkles or tiny candies so they stick to the ice cream. If you want to dip one half of each pizzella cookie in melted chocolate or flavored icing and sprinkle with nonpareils before you let them dry, you can then add the sandwich middle for a pretty cookie.
Additionally, you might use a pudding, cream cheese, yogurt or the like as a sandwich filling between the pizzelles and then topping the sandwich with fresh sliced fruit like strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, nectarines, grapes, or apples.
These anytime treats can be served with coffee or tea, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. They are light tasty crunchy treats that are not too sweet or fattening–what could be better? Enjoy!