Who doesn’t love the taste of a pizzelle at a get-together? It’s even better when it’s a family recipe that’s been passed from generation to generation. To Anthony Musmanno, it feels like just yesterday that he was in his grandparents’ home at Christmas and Easter making their pizzelle recipe. One of his treasured family heirlooms is the recipe card he typed himself as a youth.
“Grandmother’s heavy hand on the anise would have their home smelling like a warm licorice factory. One of her secrets was adding pure anise oil along with a heaping handful of anise seeds. Usually there are great bakers and great cooks, and rarely do the two skill sets overlap, but my grandmother was a fierce double threat. She could cook like the dickens and bake with the best of them. Her pizzelle recipe was a favorite and only made twice a year. In her later years, she became ill and could not bake or cook any longer. My grandfather, who had never baked before, took over the pizzelle duties. When he passed, the recipe and her favorite pizzelle iron came to me. I am now the current family pizzelle steward. I, too, make them twice a year…Christmas and Easter. My son Sam (13 years old) is my apprentice. He’ll take over the duties one day.”
This recipe card was typed up by its photographer, Anthony the III, also age 13, at the time.
1 dozen eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 handful anise seeds
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 lb sugar (or 2 1/2 cups)
3 lemon rinds
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 orange rinds
a little orange juice
1 cup Crisco
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
about 6 cups of flour for electric iron
- Beat the eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Stir the anise seeds, oil, sugar, lemon, orange, crisco, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl. Add to egg mix and fold mixture until smooth.
- Add flour slowly and mix until incorporated.
- Heat the pizzelle iron. Grease your iron by dipping a towel in canola oil and wiping it all over the iron’s interior plates. Cooking spray is not recommended as it can leave a sticky residue in the iron. As the iron heats, the batter will stiffen.
- Dip and cook the pizzelle until just turning brown. Expect them to take anywhere from 1 to 2½ minutes to brown.
- Remove the pizzelle from the iron and cool on a rack.
Recipe Card by Anthony Musmanno / Photography by Dave Bryce / Styling by Keith Recker
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