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Cookies without Nuts
Cialdoni/Wafer Biscuits [Pizzelle] (with lard and brown sugar)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Taken from "The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile (The Italian Book Co., 1919)

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Flour, three ounces
Brown sugar, one ounce
Lard virgin, half an ounce
Cold water, seven tablespoonfuls

Whipped cream


"Put in a kettle flour, brown sugar, lard and cold water. First dilute the flour and the sugar in the water, then add the lard. Put on the fire the iron for waffles or better an appropriated iron for flattened wafers. When it is quite hot open it and place each time half a tablespoonful of the paste. Close the iron and press well. Pass over the fire on both sides trim all around with a knife and open the iron when you see that the wafer is browned. Then detach it from one side of the iron and hot as it is roll it on the iron itself or on a napkin using a little stick. This operation must be made with great rapidity because if the wafer gets cold, it cannot be rolled. Should the wafers remain attached to the iron, grease it from time to time, and if they are not firm enough, add a little flour. These wafer-biscuits are generally served with whipped cream."


This recipe was taken from "The Italian Cook Book: the Art of Eating Well, Practical Recipes of the Italian Cuisine" by Mrs. Maria Gentile. It was published in the U.S. in 1919. For the entire copyright-free cookbook see www.archive.org........P.S. Nowadays this style of cookie in Italy and in North America is often known as "pizzelle." Prior to World War II different regions in Italy had different names for them. Mrs. Gentile's recipe for this cookie may be one of the first that appeared in the English language. Her description of using the traditional (non-electrical) iron for waffles is quite endearing. I recall in the early 1960s my own mother used an iron waffle that was hand-held and non-electric (And that was in Montreal, Quebec!). However, I suspect when Mrs. Gentile says that one has to "pass over the fire on both sides" -- she is referring to an actual fire, one made with wood. Or maybe, she is referring to a fire on a gas stove -- it's hard to say. In large cities in Northern Italy households did own gas stoves, though obviously those in the countryside used their fireplaces to do all their cooking.... It's interesting to note that Mrs. Gentile's pizzelle cookie recipe does not include any flavoring. In this day and age pizzelle cookies come in three "traditional" flavors: anise, lemon and vanilla. In Montreal, Canada maple-flavored pizzelle are also available in large supermarkets -- something native-born Italians may find a bit odd. Also, most North American home cooks serve pizzelle cookies either on their own or they serve them with ice cream. Those who serve them with whipping cream inevitably add berries -- strawberries, raspberries or blueberries -- definitely a winning combination. Photo and notes: Mary Melfi.

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