Pizzelle (Italian Waffle Cookies)
Pizzelle is a classic Italian wafer cookie that is sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. They are typically lightly flavored with anise. However, other flavors such as vanilla, almond or lemon are also used. Cocoa powder and a little extra sugar can also be added for a chocolate variation.
This recipe was given to my Mother by her Aunt Millie. She called it Italian Waffle Cookies and the recipe was triple the size. I have made some revisions to the recipe. She used a lot more flour and no baking powder, but after some trial and error and also the addition of a little olive oil to thin out the batter slightly, these come out perfect.
These delicate and crisp wafers were originally from Ortona, in the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy, back in the 8th century. Pizzelles are popular for holidays and are typically found as part of a sweet table at an Italian wedding.
The cookie dough is a batter that is dropped and pressed in a pizzelle iron, which resembles a waffle iron. I read that Pizzelle irons have been passed down for generations and the pattern is the family crest engraved on them. Now the irons typically have two to four geometric patterns that make wonderful designs.
The batter is quick and easy to make with simple ingredients…eggs, sugar, melted butter, oil, flour and extracts. The addition of anise seed is optional. I add them and never notice they are there. I stick with the traditional anise flavor, but I also add vanilla and lemon. It really is just a matter of preference.
You will need to drop a test batch to determine how long to bake since each pizzelle iron is different. You can use 1 minute as an estimate, but read your owner’s manual and test to be sure. Mine was 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Additionally, I drop about a half tablespoon of batter for each pizzelle directly in the center to ensure the full pattern, but you should also test to find out what works the best for you. Just like making pancakes or a crepe, don’t worry if the first one or to don’t come out correctly.
Once they are removed from the pizzelle iron, you have a couple of minutes to determine if you want to keep them laying flat or shape them. They will be pliable for a couple of minutes. Norwegians make a similar wafer cookie called a Krumkake that is rolled on a Pizzelle roller/Krumkake cone. You can also shape them over a bowl or roll them into a cone shape and fill them with berries and whip cream for a nice dessert.
Additionally, if you used too much batter, let them cool and break off any outer pieces that are outside of the edge of the pattern.
One final note is to make sure you let them cool completely before adding the confectioners’ sugar and stacking them.
Pizzelles make a wonderful gift. Stack 6 or more Pizelles in a holiday treat bag and tie them up with a colorful bow.
I can’t wait for you to try our family’s Pizzelle recipe! Please comment below and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to subscribe and you will receive an email each time I post a new recipe. Facebook, Instagram
Pizzelle (Italian Waffle Cookies)
A classic Italian wafer cookie. Lightly flavored with anise, vanilla and lemon. Perfect for the holidays!
- 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- 1 teaspoon anise seed (optional)
- 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Confectioners’ Sugar
- Step 1 Preheat the pizzelle iron.
- Step 2 Melt the butter and set aside.
- Step 3 Beat eggs and sugar until it becomes a pale yellow.
- Step 4 Add the melted butter, olive oil and extracts. Add the anise seed (optional).
- Step 5 Beat until just incorporated.
- Step 6 Sift together flour and the baking powder.
- Step 7 Combine the flour/baking powder mixture in two portions with the wet ingredients. Use the batter right away or it will continue to get thick and can form an unwanted crust
- Step 8 Lightly spray the patterns with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Step 9 Place approximately 1/2 – 3/4 tablespoon of the batter on the center of the pattern. How much batter you need will depend on your pizzelle iron. You will need to do a test batch.
- Step 10 Bake until light golden brown 1 minute to 2 1/2 minutes depending on your pizzelle iron. Also, as the pizzelle iron gets hotter, it may take less time. Don’t walk away while the batter is in the pizzelle iron.
- Step 11 Transfer each pizzelle with a tip of a butter knife to a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Step 12 Let cool. Remove any excess batter that extends beyond the pattern.
- Step 13 Dust with Confectioners’ Sugar before serving.