Saturday, November 20, 2010


Best Blog Tips

UPDATE: see my recipe for Pizzelle Crackers, too!

This recipe has been a long time coming.  In 2005 I started having a conversation with an old friend of my daughter's, who asked  about making vegan cannoli without frying. One of the things I thought of was using vegan pizzelle rolled around a tube before it crisped up.  Of course, many others have done this, but not necessarily with a vegan pizzelle.  But, I wasn't willing to spend $60 Cnd for a pizzelle iron to test this out, so I put it on the back burner.  However, a few weeks ago I found a used Villaware pizzelle iron (baker) at Value Village for $10, and that was just too good to pass up, so I bought it. (The model I bought is the "Prima", which I don't think is available now, but they have other versions and there are several other brands of pizzelle bakers:  Cuisinart, Chef's Choice, CucinaPro .)

I've been too busy until now to try it out, but today I decided to give it a try.  Now, I'd already done some research on pizzelle, which evidently originated in the region of Abruzzo and its relatives (cialde--another Italian version, from Tuscany; French or Belgian gaufrette, Scandinavian krumkake, Dutch or Belgian stroopwafels, etc.), all of which are baked in specially embossed irons, similar to a waffle iron, but producing a very thin waffle/cookie. It seems that this is a very ancient type of sweet and in some parts of Italy, the irons would be made with family crests on them which would be passed down to each generation. 

Pizzelle and it relatives are typical of festival sweets-- rich with eggs, sugar, butter and sometimes cream. I decided to start with a recipe that contained little or no eggs, if I could find one, because that is usually the component that is the hardest to replace in some recipes. Cialde seems to contain fewer eggs than pizzelle, but the French gaufrette often contains no eggs at all, so that seemed a good place to start.  My main problem was what to use instead of cream-- I live on an island, as you may know, and our store doesn't carry soy creamer, so I couldn't use that. So I used soy milk (you can use any kind of nondairy milk, so it can be soy or nut-free) with melted vegan butter added.

They turned out very well on the first try, even with some whole wheat flour! The recipe is below.  They are delicious just plain with some powdered sugar, but I had a few spoonfuls of my Almond Creme Whipped Topping (which will be in my new book), so we each had one with the Almond Cream and some grated dark chocolate on top-- yum!

Then I remembered that I had some vegan Dulce de Leche in the freezer, so I got that out and made a "fake Stroopwafel", which is a Dutch or Belgian treat made of caramel sandwiched between thin waffle cookies.  The cookies are actually yeast-leavened and they are split in half while still warm to make very thin cookies.  I'll tackle those one of these days, but this version was very delicious!

There are many, many variations of these types of cookies-- lemon, chocolate, hazelnut, etc.-- to try out.  I have to look for a cone roller or cream cone molds, and cannoli molds soon to try homemade waffle cones and, finally, my own vegan cannoli!

Printable Recipe

Yield: 24
These were much faster and easier to make than I expected!

3/4 cup    nondairy milk  
1/3 cup    Earth Balance, melted  
1/2 Tbs    pure vanilla extract  
1 1/2 cups    organic powdered sugar  
3/4 cup    whole wheat pastry flour (I used white whole wheat pastry flour) 
3/4 cup    unbleached white flour  
1 Tbs    oat flour (grind dry oatmeal in a dry, clean electric coffee grinder or blender)  
For Pizzelle or Cialde:
1/2 teaspoon    ground anise seed
For Gaufrettes:
1/4 tsp    cinnamon  
1 pinch    nutmeg  
Combine the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Heat an electric pizzelle iron according to directions (it takes 7 to 8 minutes and usually there is a light that tells you when it’s hot). When it's hot, add a scoop of exactly 4 teaspoons batter to the middle of each cookie section. 

Close the iron and secure the handle. Set a timer for 30 to 40 seconds.

When the timer goes, open the iron and carefully loosen each cookie. 

Place on paper towels on top of cooling racks. Continue until you have used up all of the batter.

The cookies get crisp very fast. Sift powdered sugar over the decorative side of each cookie. Serve with tea , coffee or wine.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per cookie): 69.5 calories; 38% calories from fat; 3.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 31.2mg sodium; 44.8mg potassium; 8.9g carbohydrates; 0.9g fiber; 0.4g sugar; 8.0g net carbs; 1.7g protein; 1.5 points.

 Cooking Tips
1.) My pizzelle iron is non-stick, and the surface is in excellent condition. The instruction booklet (which I found online) instructed that there was no need to grease the cooking surfaces, but I found that I had to lightly and quickly grease the top and bottom with a wadded paper towel coated with shortening (see my homemade shortening recipe)  before baking each batch, or they stuck. 

2.) My iron's instruction booklet also recommended using one heaping teaspoon of batter for each cookie, but this yielded a small cookie-- which may be what you want. But for a cookie which filled each "depression" in the iron, I had to use 4 teaspoons of batter exactly.



Fanny said...

How fun! I made something similar the other week, but mine seems a bit thinner. I wrote about it here

I love how you ate them! said...

Wow, yet another gadget I want to add to my collection!!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Fanny, that's a beautiful iron you found! I'm pretty sure that's a krumkake iron-- Scandinavian. What a find!

See some photos of them here;

As you can see, they usually come with an implement to roll the hot krumkake into a sort of cone, because the traditional way to eat them is filled with cream (and sometimes) fruit-- like this:

Here is a vegan recipe I found:

Have fun with your beautiful iron!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Yeah, I'm running out of room in my small house!!

Jessica B said...

Thank you for this and for posting the vegan krumkake recipe. Krumkake is a holiday tradition in my family and I've never been able to find a recipe with fewer than 3 eggs, so I wasn't sure where to start in veganizing.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

JAB, I haven't had a chance to try that recipe-- let me know if it succeeds, will you?

Heidi said...

OH my, what a find!! Don't you just LOVE Value Village!! We always scout around for barely used appliances or cookware. I'll be watching out for one like yours! Thanks for the gorgeous recipe! Hopefully I'll be able to try it out some day.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I sure do, Heidi! Get 99% of my wardrobe from the one in Nanaimo, just south of us. There's one coming to the town we shop in bi-weekly-- hurray!

KitteeBee said...

what a score, bryanna! such beautiful cookies.


GemueseGirl said...

In North Germany, we call them Knippkuchen or Neujahrskuchen (because they are often made around New Years Day). My mother was famous for them. We add cardamom and anis to the batter.

Brian said...


i just googled and found this blog, and it turned out i was already following you on twitter. i have a 60+ yr old cast iron galette iron. my grandfather (french) made these for many years. i made them the last few years before becoming vegan, and they turned out great. now being vegan, i wanted to veganize this tradition. i've had nothing but misery with the cookies sticking to the iron, i'm not sure if its the ingredients or not, but nothing comes out. i have to clean the iron after every try. i re-seasoned numerous times, still nothing. did you encounter sticking issues based on the veganized recipe? i am have a hard time finding a solution, and your blog was about as close to what i was doing as anything i could find :) thanks


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Brian, I had to use a bit of non-hydrogenated shortening for each batch even on my nonstick iron, so I think you'll need to do the same with your cast iron one.

Jan Marie said...

Brian - I just tried to make these as well, and had the same nightmare you did. I tried several things including more and less batter, more and less cooking time, more and less seasoning/oil on the plate. No dice. I also googled pizzelle making tips and can't seem to find a solution. The batter tastes great, so it's a shame to chuck it, but I can't think of what else to do...

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Brian and Jan Marie-- I don't have any experience with the old-fashioned irons. I think non-stick is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna,

After visiting Sicily last year, I bought some cannoli molds and made my own low-fat vegan version of cannoli. I made wonton wrappers, using some simple egg substitute instead of the egg in the recipe. These were wrapped on the cannoli molds and baked until golden.

For the filling, I chilled a can of coconut milk and added it to a pistachio pudding mix. The cannoli turned out delicious! I didn't try the cannoli in Sicily because they were all non-vegan, but according to the compliment from guests I guess they were quite as good.


Unknown said...

My Gmom left me her iron. I made these with brown rice syrup instead of confectioners sugar. They stuck to the iron. Is there any way I can add flour or something to make them not stick?

The unsweetened ones were very good.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Laura, as I said in my Cooking Tips: "My pizzelle iron is non-stick, and the instruction booklet (which I found online) said there was no need to grease the cooking surfaces, but I found that I had to lightly and quickly grease the top and bottoms with a wadded paper towel coated with unhydrogenated shortening before baking each batch, or they stuck. (And the surface is in excellent condition.)" So perhaps you didn't grease the iron as much as needed. More flour will probably not work. If your iron is NOT nonstick, you may need more shortening. That's all I can think of. Here is some discussion on makes and surfaces of pizzelle irons, sticking, etc.

Janet Romano said...

Thanks for the recipe! My grandparents from Italy made pizzelles all the time. I still have my grandfather's cast iron pizzelle iron with our family initials. I'm going to purchase a modern pizzelle iron and start the new family recipe (vegan.)

ADTWF said...

Has anyone tried a gluten-free version? We're allergic to roughly 22 different foods, between the four of us, and wheat is one of those.

Angelina's Illustrations said...

You saved Christmas!

A vegan version of this classic treat. Thank you, I tweaked it ever so slightly, on my third batch I think i perfected it to trick the italian relatives... that is yet to be determined.

I used original oat milk, and added 1 tsp of baking powder.

Thanks ever so much for this!!!


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I'm so glad you had success with it, Matthew!

nadialphotoblog said...

Do you add any powdered sugar to the batter or is the 1.5 cups solely for dusting on top at the end?

Christine Rose said...

I had the sticking problem I coated with margarine before adding battet