This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
IN THIS PIZZELLE RECIPE: You’re going to get crisp and light Italian cookies that are known around the world. I’ll show you how to easily make them at home, getting those lovely designs that always come with them.
Pizzelle are light, delightfully crisp, delicate Italian cookies with the scent and flavor of anise. They are as light as air, and they pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.
Pizzelle, in Italian, means small rounds — kind of like a pizza, right? They’re also popular around the holidays because they look almost like snowflakes — a dusting of powdered sugar makes them extra festive.
Now you will need a specific kind of iron to make these beautifully shaped cookies, but it’s an investment I think is worth it — once you try these you’ll want to make them every Christmas, and they make a fantastic homemade gift! I use this one.
What Are Pizzelle?
Pizzelle are traditional Italian waffle cookies. The dough is flattened and patterned in an iron, kind of like a fancy waffle iron, to give it its distinct look. It’s one of the oldest cookies in the world, and some believe it was developed in ancient Rome.
They’re traditionally flavored with anise, a spice that faintly tastes like black licorice. If that isn’t your thing, I ask you to give it a try! The subtle hint doesn’t overpower you, and it makes it taste like a very sophisticated cookie.
You’ll spot these around Christmas and Easter, and often at Italian weddings or other celebrations.
What You Need To Make Pizzelle
How To Make Pizzelle
Pizzelle irons used to be held over a heat source, but most are electric now, making these so easy to make! Here is how you do it — and don’t forget to get the full printable recipe with measurements further down the page:
- Preheat your iron.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the sugar, butter, eggs, anise seed, vanilla extract, and anise extract together.
- In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Combine your wets with your dries until you have a smooth batter.
- Brush a small amount of oil onto your iron and wipe away any excess.
- Place about 1 ½ tablespoon of the batter into the center of each plate and close the lid.
- Cook until they are a pale golden color. You can open the iron and check the progress every minute or two.
- Lift the them out with a fork and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. They crisp up as they cool.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Just before serving, dust them with powdered sugar.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Pizzelle
- Anise seed and extract can be found online if not at your local grocery store. The flavor is essential for authentic pizzelle.
- Pizzelle will firm up within about a minute of removing from the iron so transfer quickly to a wire rack.
- If your cookies aren’t firming up and getting crispy, you may need to cook them longer.
- Instead of flat pizzelle, you can roll them up while still warm. Or, try draping warm pizzelle over an upside-down bowl and then filling the pizzelle bowl with pastry cream and fresh berries! Serve immediately after filling!
- Try a drizzle of melted chocolate on these pizzelle!
How Do I Store Pizzelle?
You can store the leftover pizzelle in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If they soften, re-crisp them on a cookie sheet in a 350°F (180°C) oven for just a few minutes.
‘Tis The Season (For More Cookies!)
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook — it makes the perfect gift!
Homemade Pizzelle Recipe
- ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (4oz/115g) butter (melted)
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 ½ teaspoon anise seed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon anise extract
- 1 ½ cups (7½oz/213g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Oil (for cooking)
- Preheat a pizzelle iron.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, eggs, anise seed, vanilla extract, and anise extract.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter.
- Brush a very small amount of oil onto the pizzelle iron and with a paper towel, wipe away any excess.
- Place about 1 ½ tablespoon of batter into the center of each pizzelle plate and close the top.
- Cook until the pizzelle are a pale golden (you can open the iron and check the progress every minute or two).
- Lift the pizzelles with a fork and quickly transfer them to a wire rack to cool. They will crisp up as they cool.
- Repeat with the remaining batter. You won’t need to use any more oil unless the pizzelles start to stick.
- Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If they soften, re-crisp them on a cookie sheet in a 350°F (180°C) oven for just a few minutes.