Pupazza of the chestnut forest
Yes there is such a day, and no way was I going to let it go by without mention of the extra-endowed Pupazza Frascatana. More than a decade ago we visited Pasticceria Purificato in the town of Frascati (Rome) where these cookies originated. Standing at about 10-inches tall, they’re symbolic of abundance and fertility, just the thing we all look forward to with spring equinox in a few days. Unfortunately the shop doesn’t sell online, so I put together a quick recipe based on various descriptions and basically cut my pupazza freehand.
Check out this video of how they make the pupazza at Pasticceria Purificato (subtitled).
The original recipe lists honey, oil, orange extract, flour and that’s it. These are very firm cookies (the texture reminded me of teething biscuits!), perfect for dipping in coffee or wine. This is what I did:
4 oz. butter (113 grams or 1/2 cup)
8 oz. millefiori honey (225 grams or 3/4 cup)
2 1/4 cup “00” flour (roughly 330 grams)
Gently warm the butter until melted. Remove from heat and add the honey; stir to combine well. Add the flour all at once and mix to a smooth texture. Divide dough into thirds and roll each directly onto baking parchment (pre-sized to fit baking sheet) to approximately 1/4-inch or 5 mm. Cut out desired shapes with cookies cutters or a pastry wheel. Remove dough scraps, slide parchment onto baking sheet, and bake at 180°C/350°F for 12-15 minutes until light brown around the edges.
You can reroll the scraps, but if the dough has firmed up too much, zap in the microwave at 10-second intervals to soften. Cool baked cookies completely and store in an airtight container.
This morning when I realized that my stash of honey wafers was down to a single package, I went in a mild panic because these have been my afternoon ‘comfort’ food along with some tea. I love Verival’s honey version as it’s not as sweet as the butter and sugar syrup-filled ones (although I like those too), but I thought it would be a good idea to have a recipe on hand as backup.
I adapted a wafer recipe from a youtube video to suit my needs and my measuring cups. For the filling, I simply used honey and spread the desired amount. They won’t win any prizes in the beauty department, but my round pizzelle iron gets another use and I won’t need to worry the next time my stroopwafel stash runs out.
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1/8 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, melted and cooled
1 small egg, beaten
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Place dough back into bowl and let rest, covered, in a warm place for 30 minutes.
After dough has rested, divide into 10 equal portions and roll into balls. Cook each ball in a pre-heated pizzelle iron, about 30-35 seconds each side, until golden brown. Trim (using a knife or large round cookie cutter) and split each wafer as soon as they’re cool enough to handle; fill and spread with honey of your choice. Store in an airtight container.
The video that inspired all this is in German and uses metric measurements. I selected a snippet of the clip that shows a truly elegant-looking wafer maker, something that I’d love to have in my collection of gadgets if my kitchen ever gets bigger.