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I didn't realize until going to College that eating Manicotti for Christmas Eve dinner wasn't normal. After being at church for multiple services, my mom, sister and I would set the big dining room table, fill the fancy goblets with sparkling grape juice and wait for my dad to come home from the last service at church. Then we would all sit down to a Manicotti dinner, the only light coming from the candles on the table and the Christmas Tree in the window. My wonderful mother catered to my dad's Italian ancestry by making traditional dishes and cookies-- like PIZZELLE!

Ever had these little morsels of goodness? Pizzelle are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar, shortening and anise. Pizzelle can be hard and crisp, or soft and chewy, depending on ingredients used. And I am partial to the way the Print family has done it over the years-- crisp! We have my Grandpa and Grandpa's old maker, and boy does it make some delicious Pizzelle! Mom and I made these today, and we may just have to mail some to my gramps- Eddy Spaghetti in Kentucky!

The trusty machine
just the perfect amount.
stacks and stacks of Pizzelle
The star ingredient: Anise

1/2 C Shortening
1/2 C Sugar
3 eggs
1 3/4 C Flour
1 tsp. Anise
11/2 tsp. baking powder

Beat shortening and sugar until blended, add eggs and anise. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Heat iron.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto iron and close until steam stops (about 30 seconds)
Carefully removed cookies from the iron and let cool on a wire rack.
Mangia bene, vivi felice!

I had so much fun today. Loving the Minnesota sunshine and my time with the family.