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Pizzelles without a press

Baking pizzelles can be a lot of work--unless you have a VillaWare Prego Pizzelle Baker capable of turning out perfectly pressed cookies.

Pizzelles are one of my favorite cookies: they're wafer-thin and have wafflelike patterns baked into them. The patterns can get quite elaborate, with particularly fancy patterns used for cookies meant for entertaining. But pizzelles are nearly impossible to make without a maker like the VillaWare Prego Pizzelle Baker. The cookies are so thin that the only way to get the crisp texture and delicate patterns is to drop dough straight onto the baker's hot surfaces and lock the top and bottom plates together. As little as 30 seconds later, you'll have a hot pizzelle. The baker makes preparing pizzelles so easy that you can take advantage of one of pizzelles' features: when they're fresh off the griddle, they're still pliable, which allows you to roll or fold them. They can make great cannoli shells or be filled with other treats.

The VillaWare Prego Pizzelle Baker offers nonstick surfaces that make baking even easier and minimizes cleanup. The surfaces are imprinted with traditional fiori patterns. With practice, you can use it to turn out two pizzelles every 30 seconds. The electric baker has an automatic thermostat that notifies you when it's ready to start baking. The pizzelle baker is approximately $50.