Growing up, one of the first things I learned to help my grandmother make is an Italian flat cookie called a pizzelle. They are made from a thick batter using an electric pizzelle iron. We would make these for each ‘major’ holiday – Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We would also make them during the year for a special birthday or anniversary party. They became quintessential with every special family gathering and also led to some of my most fun times in the kitchen with my grandmother. Frank Sinatra would be playing, red wine would be at the ready, conversation and laughs were had, and the smell of anise would fill the entire house! I still use the same iron my grandmother bought me from Fante’s in the Italian Market as a house warming gift in 1999 and I still enjoy a glass of red wine while making them!
The standard pizzelle is just a simple flat anise flavored wafer cookie. However at some point, and I don’t remember how this got started, my grandmother would make a batch of ‘rolled’ pizzelles. Hot off the iron she would pay about a teaspoon of chocolate chips on one and white chocolate chips on the other and roll them. Making pizzelle cigars. These caught on and became a favorite on every holiday.
When I became vegan just over eight years ago now, I searched for commercially produced vegan pizzelles with no luck. I tried to recreate them with vegan ingredients available at the time with little to no success. The batter is so butter and egg heavy, I just couldn’t come up with a good vegan substitution formula.
That all changed when Just Egg hit the market. I gave it a try, honestly without much hope. However after the first couple of pizzelles flew off the iron – I knew we struck gold! The consistency and taste was spot on from what I remember my grandmother’s recipe being! At the time I had a connection to get the two pound food service bags of Just Egg. To the delight of my family and friends I embarked on a pizzelle making frenzy that year!
I hope you try this out if you have an iron; it really isn’t complicated. Plug in and heat up the Pizzelle Iron while getting the batter started. I use my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. I then add the salt, vanilla, anise oil, and anise seed while the mixer is running and mix until incorporated. Then I pour the Just Egg in slowly while the mixer is going – blend until smooth. Then, again while mixer is on slow, add the flour slowly to incorporate into a thick batter. I use a little non stick spray one time on the iron, before dropping the first batter. I use a disher to evenly proportion the batter onto the iron, close the lid and I let cook about 60 seconds. Each iron will be slightly different and cook the pizzelles at a different rate. Experiment with how long you cook – my mom likes lighter, less cooked, pizzelles while my cousins always like them darker and crispier.
- 0.5 lb Vegan Butter – I use Country Crock Plant Based Butter with avocado oil
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp Just Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1.5 tsp Anise Oil
- 1 Tbsp Anise Seed
- Dash of salt
- 2.25 Cups Flour
- 1 Pack Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (If making the ‘rolled’ version)
- 1 Pack King David Mini White Chocolate Chips (If making the ‘rolled’ version)
Note 1: My grandmother used both the anise oil and seeds. Feel free to use just one or the other or anise extract. If not using the oil I would double the amount of extract or seeds in this recipe.
Note 2: I use to use Earth Balance until I tried Country Crock Plant Based Butter which to me has a closer taste to dairy butter. But I am sure you can use your favorite plant based butter.