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  • Diana

An Italian sweet tooth

You will never leave an Italian house hungry. However, if you have the privilege of being served an Italian meal, be prepared to get asked if you're hungry about 20

Every gathering, small and large, is centered around food. To this day, my mom will make Italian pizzelles every week. Ironically, we very rarely eat the round and tan cookies ourselves. Instead, we give them away.

Every time a teacher, a bus driver or a colleague tastes these stamped cookies, they are blown away. Sharing this part of my culture and family is one thing, but the smile it brings people is what really matters.

I remember my grandma used to bake the cookies with an old fashioned pizelle iron. The iron had a long metal handle and a spot to bake one cookie. My grandma held the iron over the stove, until the batter was gone.

Today, my mom uses a pizzelle maker that bakes two cookies at a time and it is electric. Unlike the one my grandma used, the new machine pops out perfect pastries in about thirty seconds. However, I would recommend purchasing a pizzelle maker from an authentic Italian store. Believe me, a quality iron makes a difference!

When you bite into the cookie, it melts in your mouth. The sweet treat is light and it has a perfect combination of sugar and vanilla baked in. Every time my mom whips up pizzelle batter, my sister and I have to have a spoonful of it. The creamy batter is just as good as the cookie and it is irresistible.

The traditional pizzelle is made with anise, but there are a variety of flavors...including chocolate. My family prefers using vanilla.

For those of you who want to try the Mancuso/Russo recipe, here it is...

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon anise or extract of your choice (optional)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 vups flour

1/2 cup butter (melted)

3/4 cup sugar

Beat eggs and sugar. Add cooled melted butter, vanilla and anise. Sift flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture. Batter will be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon. Batter can be refrigerated to be used at a later time. Makes about 30 pizzelles.

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