…It turns out the iron was a Pizzelle maker

I remember the first time I ever cooked for Mrs. Aarons and Bud.  We came rattling up the driveway in that old pickup we had back then.  The boys was all eyes on the front seat.  I’ll never forget my first look at that view.  Mrs. Aarons wasn’t there right at first, but Bud was real kind and showed us around – left me alone to get acquainted with that big kitchen.  That was when I realized that their old housekeeper – and I do mean old … and mean – had stripped the fridge and as many cupboards as she could, to the bare bone.  There wasn’t nothing to cook with at all.  But I made do, and they were pleased.  If they weren’t pleased they was at least polite.  Mrs. Aarons and my Rafael, they talked plants, and the boys was invited in.  Oh, it was a lovely afternoon. 

I knew what we was up against; me being black and Rafael being Mexican and living like we was in that old rattletrap truck with no way to iron and our clothes scrubbed threadbare, and I figured one afternoon was all we was gonna get.  But the good Lord was with us, and when we needed help the most he sent Bud to us, and he took us home to the Birdhouse, and we been there ever since.

Old Mrs. Gustafson, she may have stripped the food outta the cupboards and the fridge, but she left a lifetime of pots and pans and equipment the likes of which I’d never seen.  One of the things was an old iron with a fancy imprint on it.  I’d never seen nor heard of ‘em, but Mrs. Aarons said Mrs. Gustafson used the thing to make Italian Pizzelles, and Buddy said she made a Swedish cookie called Krumkaagen with it.  I wasn’t sure what to think.

It turns out the iron was a Pizzelle maker.  Pizzelles is from Italy and have anis in them, and Krumkaggen is from Sweden and they have cardamom in them, but they pretty much the same thing, and since both Mrs. Aarons and Bud was right fond of them, I learned how to make them.  I have long since replaced the iron, and I’ve learned that if I roll the Pizzelles just off the iron I can make cannoli to fill with whipped cream, or ricotta cheese or whatever. Bud like ‘em left flat and filled with fudge to make a sandwich cookie, so these days that’s what I do most times. 

This is only one version of the recipe, of course, but it’s a real good one.  It makes a good many, but you can cut it in half.  It’s a forgiving recipe, so you can mess with it a little and still come up with something that’s good to eat.

Pizelles Filled with Fudge

Pizzelle Batter Ingredients:

  • One pound of softened butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 12 eggs
  • ½ T vanilla (or 1¼ tsp anise extract)
  • 7 cups of flour (You may substitute ½ cup cocoa powder for ½ cup of flour. If you want a sweet chocolate pizzelle, add more sugar and double the vanilla.)

Fudge-Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups good quality chocolate chips
  • 1 fourteen ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pizelle Instructions:

Mix one pound of softened butter with 3 cups of sugar.

Add eggs, flavor, and flour.

Chill dough 20 minutes before cooking.

Drop by teaspoons onto a hot Pizzelle maker. 

Check after 25 seconds.

Allow to cool completely before filling or storing.

Filling Instructions:

Melt chocolate chips and milk together over medium heat (or in microwave for one minute). Beat thoroughly.

Spread onto one cookie and cover with another, or roll the pizzelles as they come out of the maker, and use the fudge as filling using a pastry bag.

Pour any leftover fudge into a buttered 8X8 pan and allow to set up before cutting.