Michael and I both love pizzelles, a crispy Italian cookie, and we have talked about making our own for a long time, so I was thrilled when Michael got us an electric pizzelle maker for Christmas. We decided to use it the very next day so we could enjoy some pizzelles over the holidays. This is a VillaWare product, the Prego! model, which makes two cookies at a time and comes with a user manual/cookbook. The unit stands on its side for easy storage.
I chose this model over the Cuisinart and other brands mainly because it claims to cook the pizzelles in 30 seconds. When you’ve got curious little boys that get into absolutely everything, speed is very important! Other models stated cooking times of 30 to 60 seconds or longer, and some came with cone rollers or cannoli forms, as well as a higher price tag.
The surface is decorated with a combination fiori and waffle style pattern so that each cookie has both patterns, one on either side. The surface is nonstick and does not require cooking spray, but it did take a few tries before the cookies had seasoned the grid. The recipes have oil in them just like a waffle recipe, and after multiple uses the cooking grid takes on a seasoned quality and cookies do not stick. Clean up is a snap, just let the unit cool and wipe it down with a wet cloth and brush out any crumbs (though you can see I have a few crumbs left behind in the photo above).
I did learn that quantity of batter is very important for making a good pizzelle. The recipe that comes with the book says to use 1 teaspoon of batter per cookie, but that simply isn’t enough to even cover the design pattern. After making several lame looking cookies, I began using 1 tablespoon of batter per cookie and found that to be exactly right. The cookies came out crispy and stayed that way when stored in a metal tin. I learned that it’s not a good idea to store the cookies with other baked goods as they lose that wonderful crispy crunch.
The unit worked well and cleaned up easily. The cookies really did cook in just 30 seconds, and I had to set a digital timer to keep me on my toes. The unit does not beep or have any sort of alert to let you know that the cookies are done, so using a timer is important. I did burn a couple when I got distracted with the boys.
There are a number of good pizzelle recipes on the food blogs, including:
The bottom line:
Pros: cooks in just 30 seconds, nonstick after the first few cookies, cleans easily
Cons: only makes two at a time, need to use an external timer to track cooking time
Price: retails at $49.95, can get on sale for about $39.95
Where to buy: Amazon.com, Cooking.com
Company Website: Jarden Store (Jarden Corporation)