Celebrating Bake Cookies Day with Good Housekeeping Magazine
December 18 is Bake Cookies Day, according to Good Housekeeping magazine.
On May 2, 1885 Clark W. Bryan, of Holyoke, MA, founded Good Housekeeping as a bi-weekly magazine. It became a monthly publication in 1891.
Good Housekeeping is the go-to magazine for American women, providing information on trends, real-life, and fiction stories, advice, recipes, and product recommendations.
So, if Good Housekeeping says there’s a day dedicated to baking cookies, who’s going to argue with that?
Pizzelle, also known as Italian Waffle cookies, can trace their origin back to Ninth-Century Rome.
They are a popular cookie around Christmas time, with a snowflake design on one side and sometimes a second design on the reverse side.
Simple ingredients of sugar, eggs, flour, and butter or oil are used. Personally, I believe using butter gives the cookies a better flavor and texture. Flavorings are generally vanilla, anise, lemon, caramel, or chocolate.
As with Black and White Cookies (a May 2018 article in the San Juan Record), a pizzella (singular) can have a combination of half vanilla, half chocolate.
You can always be daring and add mint extract to the chocolate batter or finely crushed hazelnut meal to the flour.
Think of this as using a basic cookie dough, or in this case, batter recipe and add your imagination.
Depending on the variations in ingredient amounts and cooking times on the pizzelle press, the cookies can be either hard and crisp or soft and chewy.
They are seen often at Italian weddings, rolled into a cone and filled with cannoli cream (ricotta cheese mixed with sugar).
As a sandwich cookie, a filling of cannoli cream or hazelnut spread can be smeared between two cookies. However, the hard and crisp variety is too delicate to withstand a layer of firm ice cream for a sandwich but is delicious as a crushed topping instead.
A thicker pizzella is exactly what’s used to make those waffle cones you get at the local ice cream shoppes.
The average price for a pizzelle press is $50 and can create 2-4 pizzelle, depending on the size in diameter being “baked.” There is also a variety of designs that can be pressed upon the batter, the most popular being a snowflake or star.
If you’re not inclined to buy a press and make your own pizzelle the cookies are usually available in the bakery section of major supermarkets or online stores.
A serving of six (4 inch) cookies is about 140 calories, containing six grams of fat and 19 grams of carbohydrates. Pair this with fresh fruit and it makes an excellent meal in itself. If this doesn’t entice you, I’m clueless as to what will. Enjoy!
Basic Vanilla Pizzelle
Ingredients: 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract, 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until fluffy and a yellow color. Make sure the butter has cooled to room temperature before adding into the egg mixture; this will keep the eggs from curdling. Add the vanilla extract; do not over mix.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the wet ingredients until well incorporated.
Follow the instructions on the pizzelle press for batter measurements and proper cooking time. When done, remove to a wire rack for cooling.
Makes 2-3 dozen depending on size made.