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Pizzelles spell dessert at every Pepper Fest

Inge Bleier holds a stack of pizzelles bound for the Senior Citizens booth at Pepper Fest. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

What do persons of Polish, Swedish, German and Irish descent have in common? They all gather the Wednesday before Pepper Fest to make the centuries' old Italian dessert pizzelles.

This year, five ladies including Maria Jensen, Carol McConaughey, Shirley Rehder and Inge Bleier made 420 pizzelles. Normally they each make a batch of batter at home and join forces in the basement of the Bethel Lutheran Church, using electric pizzelle irons to create the delicate wafers.

Some claim that pizzelles are the oldest known cookie dating back to 700 A.D. in the central region of Italy.

Today we are sharing with you a recipe that comes from Jane Zappa. It was Christine (Ricci) Zappa's original pizzelle recipe.

3 sticks of butter

3 cups of sugar

6 eggs

4 tsp. of baking powder

2 Tablespoons of Vanilla and 1 tsp. of oil of anise

5 ½ to 6 cups of flour

Mix all the ingredients together. You may vary the amount of vanilla and anise to your own taste.

Roll the dough in walnut size balls and bake using an electric pizzelle iron or if you are adventurous you can use a hand held iron over the stove.

The pizzelles are an annual favorite in at Pepper Fest. Volunteers from the Senior Citizens Center make and sell them in their booth, along with an assortment of other dessert bars and cookies. It wouldn't be Pepper Fest if we didn't have the large Italian wafers called pizzelles.