Easy, Classic Italian Pizzelle

updated Nov 28, 2022
christmas
Pizzelle

Pizzelle are a simple yet beautiful Italian cookie made with a special pizzelle press. The resulting cookie is sweet and buttery, and keeps well for days.

Makes32 (3-inch) cookies

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Credit: Olive & Mango

My love of pizzelle was born when the first chef I ever worked for invited me to her home for the holidays. On top of her beautiful antique oven sat the most stunning cast iron press, where she delicately browned anise-flavored Italian pizzelle (plural for pizzella). After just one bite of that still-warm pizzella, I was instantly in love. While I’ve long coveted that vintage pizzelle maker, adapting to the modern electric version has allowed me to make pizzelle in my own home, which I now gift to friends and neighbors for the holiday.

Pizzelle are thin wafer cookies with a not-too-sweet taste and a snappy, buttery texture. Because their moisture is pressed right out as you make them, they also keep incredibly well. You can flavor them with anise seeds or a little almond extract, but simple vanilla-flavored pizzelle are my absolute favorite, and the ones I’ve been gifting for the last five years. Here’s my favorite recipe for easy, classic pizzelle.

Credit: Olive & Mango

A Cookie You Press, Not Bake

Pizzelle are reportedly one of the world’s oldest cookies. They originated in central Italy, but have cultural significance throughout the country. Many variations of thin wafer cookies baked in hot cast iron presses have sprung up around the world, most notably the Norwegian Krumkake.

Pizzelle batter is very simple — you combine melted butter with eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and the flavoring of your choosing. The dough browns more evenly if it has some time to sit, so I recommend making the dough in advance and storing it in the fridge until ready to use. To cook the batter, you’ll need a pizzelle press. This non-stick Chef’s Choice model has lasted me about a decade, churning out regular pizzelle batches a few times a year and large batches every December.

Pizzelle

Pizzelle are a simple yet beautiful Italian cookie made with a special pizzelle press. The resulting cookie is sweet and buttery, and keeps well for days.

Makes 32 (3-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or the seeds of 1 split and scraped vanilla bean

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Cooking spray

  • Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut 8 tablespoons unsalted butter into pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until melted, about 45 seconds. Set aside to cool while you measure and mix the rest of the batter.

  2. Place 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and the vanilla (see options above) in a large bowl and whisk vigorously until the mixture is homogeneous, about 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk to combine. Add the cooled butter and whisk until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can store the batter in the fridge overnight, bringing it to room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

  3. About 10 minutes before baking, preheat a pizzelle press. Lightly coat the press with cooking spray and portion 2 teaspoons of the batter into the center of each pizzelle form. Close the press and cook until lightly golden-brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes — the time will vary depending on the press. Use a thin flat spatula to gently transfer the cookies to a wire rack. The cookies will crisp up when cooled.

  4. Repeat with the remaining batter, but you won’t need to coat the press with cooking spray each time, especially if you have a non-stick press. Cool the cookies completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store finished pizzelles in an airtight container at room temperature, where they will keep well for 7 days.