By Chris Dalziel, contributing writer
Store bought crackers are no comparison to freshly baked, homemade crackers. But rolling out cracker dough and cutting individual crackers can be tedious. Savory pizzelles are light, crispy crackers that you can make while you are doing other things in the kitchen, like mixing up a cheese ball or a nut spread, tossing a salad, or laying out a meat tray.
Savory pizzelles are made with whole food ingredients that you probably already have in the cupboard. Real butter, organic eggs, and whole grain flour make up the bulk of the batter. While this batch uses lemon and dill to flavor the savory batter, the possibilities are endless. Grated cheese, seeds, nuts, herbs, and spices can be used creatively to capture your favorite cracker flavors. Your homemade crackers will taste better, be fresher, healthier, and more eco-friendly than the crackers wrapped in plastic that come in a box.
This recipe requires a pizzelle iron. (Pronounced “peet-zal”) A pizzelle iron, similar to a krumkake iron, or waffle cone maker, makes a thin wafer cookie that cooks on both sides at the same time. While an electric pizzelle maker may seem like a one-use-wonder, some of these appliances come with switchable plates that also make regular waffles, crepes, waffle cones, or tortillas. If you are shopping for a pizzelle iron consider what other uses you may want before you purchase one, so you can find the best appliance for your needs.
If you are living off-grid, or trying to cut back on electrical appliances, stove top pizzelle makers are also available for both gas ranges, electric, or wood fueled stoves. These are a little more challenging to master due to the uneven heating of the appliance, but our foremothers did it without smart appliances. We can, too. You may need to shop around to find a stove top pizzelle iron at a reasonable price in the USA. The stove top versions are imported from Europe and can be pricey. Used cast iron or cast aluminum pizzelle irons can be found in antique stores and estate auctions. Older pizzelle and krumkake irons often have intricate, lacy designs that make exceptionally beautiful cookies and crackers. If you find one, you’ve found a treasure.
Look for a pizzelle iron that has a shiny cooking surface. Appliances with a black, non-stick Teflon™ surface aren’t the best health investment. The Teflon coating off-gasses when the appliance heats and can harm birds and people. Further small amounts of the non-stick coating will wash away when the appliance is cleaned. Teflon persists in the environment and can harm water sources and soils for centuries. Porcelain non-stick coatings are more durable, healthier, but more expensive. Uncoated irons can be greased with butter or oil before use to make them non-stick, so avoid the chemicals if you can.
Lemons are coming into season shortly. Orange or lime zest could also be used in these lemon dill pizzelle crackers. Use the zest from organic fruit to avoid pesticide residues.
Lemon Dill Pizzelle Crackers
Yield: 18 — 4 inch crackers
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill leaves, finely chopped
- Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
- 1 tsp. organic sugar
- ¼ tsp. Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
Add eggs, one at a time, to a medium bowl, whisking after each addition. After melting allow the butter to cool slightly. Pour butter into egg mixture whisking while you add it.
Add dill, lemon peel, sugar, and salt to the egg mixture. Whisk until the batter is light and frothy, about a minute.
Add whole wheat flour, and baking powder together to the egg mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon just until the flour is moist and the batter clings together. The batter will be thick and it will clump together but it should still be light. The batter consistency is a little thicker than muffin batter but not as thick as biscuit dough.
Preheat the pizzelle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonful into the centre of the pizzelle design plate, just a little toward the back of centre. Close the pizzelle iron. Latch the lock to ensure even thickness.
Cook the pizzelles until the steam stops escaping from the iron, around a minute. Pizzelles should be golden brown and will hold their shape when removed from the pizzelle iron. They will still be soft, but will crisp up as they cool.
If you wish to make smaller crackers, use a pizza wheel to cut each pizzelle into 4 pieces immediately when you take it out of the pizzelle iron. Cool in a single layer on a cooling rack. Stack to store.
Package savory pizzelles in a cookie tin or other air tight container. Pizzelles will keep a week or two at room temperature. They may be frozen for longer storage.
To make gluten-free savory pizzelles substitute Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for the whole wheat flour called for in the recipe.
What to do with the leftovers
Crumbs from your savory pizzelles can be used like other cracker crumbs for herb crusted chicken, schnitzel coating, croutons, casserole topping, and baked potato topping.
More Pizzelle recipes to inspire you
Pizzelle irons make both sweet cookies and savory crackers. Try these recipes to fill your cookie tins. Pizzelles make lovely and attractive hostess gifts and neighbor gifts, too. You can also roll them with a cone form to make waffle cones or cream horns. Pizzelles are surprisingly versatile waffle cookies and crackers.
Back to you:
Which store bought cracker is your family favorite? Do you have a recipe to make it from scratch at home?
About Chris Dalziel
Chris is the author of the forthcoming book, The Beeswax Workshop: How to Make Your Own Natural Candles, Cosmetics, Cleaners, Soaps, Healing Balms, and More. She is a teacher, author, gardener, and community herbalist with 30+ years of growing herbs and formulating herbal remedies, skin care products, soaps, and candles. She teaches workshops and writes extensively about gardening, crafts, and medicinal herbs on her blog at JoybileeFarm.com. Chris’s other titles include The Beginner’s Book of Essential Oils: Learning to Use Your First 10 Essential Oils with Confidence and Homegrown Healing, From Seed to Apothecary.
Chris lives with her husband Robin in the mountains of British Columbia on a 140 acre ranch, with sheep, dairy goats, llamas, and a few retired chickens. They have 3 adult children and 3 granddaughters. All photos courtesy of Chris.