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.)
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 Earth Balance 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!
For Pizzelle or Cialde:
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2.) My iron's instructions said to 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.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2010