Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sourdough Surprises: Chocolate Pizzelles

Ah, the sourdough cookie. When I started sourdough baking, I had all kinds of breads and quick breads. Cookies were notoriously missing until recently. Now I've made a few kinds of and here and here. But when SourdoughSurprises announced that they were doing cookies for December, there was a recipe I had to try again.

I told the story of how we came about the pizzelle iron the first time I attempted to make Sourdough Pizzelles. Pizzelles are a traditional Italian cookie, frequently making an appearance around the holidays. How my 100% Polish great aunt got to making them, I may never know. All I know is that I accepted them as a treat from up north, like Platter's Orange Chocolate. When my niece fell in love with them, my mother bought the iron. And my first thought was: How do I make sourdough pizzelles?

My first attempt, using a waffle recipe, didn't turn out very sweet at all. I ended up using them in place of bread. Then I came across this desert waffle recipe and thought I was on to something.

The problem is that malt powder was going to be another one of those one-recipe-and-done ingredients. So, a little research and I came up with a substitute using flour and powdered milk. Everything else was according to the recipe.

A word of warning about pizzelles: They take forever. It was easily over 2 hours that I spent carefully pouring batter onto the heated iron. They are certainly a labor of love, which is why I knew they were a special treat.

The recipe, as follows:
Chocolate Sourdough Pizzelles
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup fresh Sourdough starter
1/2 cup Cocoa powder
1/3 cup powdered milk
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk the dry ingredients in a small bowl; you may need to sift the mixture if your cocoa is lumpy.

Add the dry ingredients, plus the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla to the sourdough batter, stirring to combine.
Drop batter by scant tablespoonfuls onto preheated waffle iron. Bake according to manufacturer directions.

Pizzelles may be shaped into cones, bowls or cannoli shells while still warm. They will crisp up as they cool.

They are a little chewier than most pizzelles (although they still hold their shape quite well). However, they disappeared quickly. They were rich and chocolatey, not too sweet, with just the hint of cinnamon.

I'm very pleased. I finally have made a sourdough pizzelle. I'm not done though. One of these days, when I have the energy to burn at the pizzelle iron, I have an idea for a more traditionally flavored sourdough pizzelle. Until then...I'll have to find other ways to keep my starter active.

Check out our other awesomely delicious cookies!


  1. I have never made Pizzelles~ I think I will now, using this recipe!

  2. I think I might have to get myself a waffle iron just to make pizzelles! I have a contraption that is put directly over a fire. We use it to make a wafer that is folded into a triangle. Maybe that will work.

  3. Oh my goodness, these are beauties!!! Great job with these cookies! I love eating pizzelles, but have never made them before! I bet the sourdough-chocolate flavor would be delicious! Thanks for baking with us again this month!!

  4. This is something I've always wanted to try... now I just need to track down a pizzelle iron!

    1. I know Mom got ours at Bed, Bath & Beyond - it's a Cuisinart, which is pretty readily available. They were certainly tasty :-)

  5. Oh my gosh, pizelles??? I never would have thought of using sourdough to make pizelles, but holy smokes, what an amazing idea!! Great job and thanks so much for baking with us!!

  6. That's what's so great about groups like this :-).