Thursday, December 17, 2015

Good Fences and A Special Traditional Treat

Hi Friends
Welcome to
 Good Fences today.

With Christmas nearly here,
I've been a bit busy and my fence photos are running out.
I hope to find some great new fences
during the holiday as we do some traveling about.

Here is one I recently found while on my way
to grocery shop. 
It was near the Gazebo I shared last week.

This pretty iron and decorative fence was by a walk way 
up to a building in town.
Love the stone work below the fence.

My shopping trip,
 past this pretty fence, was to gather the ingredients 
I needed to make
a Traditional Italian Cookie 
called Pizzelles
made in my family at Christmas for years.

Starting with my Italian grandmother who made these
every year, to my mother and then taught to me
these delicious thin cookies are very special.

In the beginning,
these delicate lacy looking cookies
were typically made years ago with an iron held over the store burner
to bake the cookies one at a time.
Very labor intensive to create.

Long about the time my mother began making them,
she used a double electric iron maker from Italy.
They still take time to make, only 2 at a time,
but the goodness and the taste, so well worth  the time.

Here's the iron, called Pizzelle Chef.
 It looks a bit like a waffle maker.
My maker above is about 35 years old and still working great.

 In the inside you can see the design for the cookies
and when the iron is closed it cooks from both sides making 
2 cookies at a time.

You have to work quickly, time each one as you go along
and carefully pull off, trim and lay flat to cool.

Here's the process I used
while my hubby watched at the bar in the kitchen,
waiting for samples.

First I made the batter
which looks like this.

I usually make a double batch which makes 120 cookies.
If I'm going to all this work,
 I want to make as much as I can.
They freeze really well for later too.

So for a double batch it takes
 7 cups flour, 
 12 eggs,  
4 sticks of butter,
 3 cups sugar
 and  8 tablespoons of vanilla.

Wow, sounds like the ingredients for a heart attack!!
But when you spread this all out for 120 cookies,
your're not getting that much fat and calories in each one.
Well, at least that's my reasoning.

After the iron is hot and ready to begin.
I place a dollop of the batter in the middle of the design.
Close the lid tight and began to time about 32 seconds.
You just time it in your head, no timer is needed.
Once the time is about up, open the lid,
and here is the cookie.

Working quickly and remember, this is hot,
you pull the cookie off the design carefully
and lay it out to cool and harden.

At this point, I start the next 2 cookies
 and in that timing,
I trim off any  cookie that spread past the design.

I start a bowl for the trimmings.
These crumbs are good to freeze to use as a topping
on cakes, ice cream or  pudding
 and last up to one year placed in the freezer.
But I can tell you, they don't last that long around here.

As they cool I begin to stack them on a large cookie sheet.

Beautiful once again and so very good.
Many people traditionally make these with anise flavoring,
but my family have always loved them using vanilla.

So pretty served on a Christmas plate.

Oh and yes, hubby was there to be the taster.
He gave them a thumbs up
and enjoys these as an ice cream sandwich too.

Simply cut a slice of vanilla ice cream 
or any flavor you like
sandwich the ice cream between 2 cookies.
You can also
roll them like a cone while still hot off the iron, 
let cool and it becomes an ice cream cone.

I freeze some cookies at Christmas
and in the summer, 
they make the best summer 
treat as an ice cream sandwich on a hot Texas day.

The key is the iron. The batter really can't be used any other way
and is formulated to be thin and crisp.

Wish I could send you all a batch.
They do sell them in grocery stores during the holiday.
But trust me,
they are not as good as homemade!!

Wishing you a great rest of the week
as we look towards the big day!

Merry Christmas


See you tomorrow.
Celestina Marie

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