Traditional Italian Pizzelle Recipe (2024)

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This Pizzelle Recipe will teach you how to make Italian Pizzelle Cookies, the oldest cookies in the world. Pizzelle are thin, snowflake shaped cookies that are thin and delicate. They are great served plain, with powdered sugar, nutella, or even ice cream!

Traditional Italian Pizzelle Recipe (1)

“Hello Reader! I try my hardest to research recipes as best as I can before posting to ensure I am representing each culture correctly. If this recipe is from your country and I have made a mistake or you have suggestions for how to make it more authentic, I would love to hear! Please leave a comment below letting me know what should be different, and I will rework the recipe. It is always my intention to pay homage and respect to each cultural dish that I cook. Thanks for reading!”

Recipe Origins

Every year at Christmas, my family participates in my absolute favorite tradition, our cookie-making day! Every year, we get together to make homemade pasta, biscotti, pecan snowballs, and more.

We’ve had these recipes for decades (you should see our recipe sheets, covered in batter and grease) and make them each year to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

We’ve had my grandmother’s Pizzelle Baker since probably the 1970s, and we’ve got that baby down to a science. We know exactly how many seconds it takes to make the perfect biscotti.

I really enjoy exploring all things Italy so of course I highly recommend checking out these Italian Dessert recipes to add to your Italian experience. Let me know which is your favorite!

Why Make this Recipe

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  1. Traditional Italian Christmas: Just like our family, Italian families around the world make Pizzelle to celebrate the Christmas holiday. They are delicately thin and only a little sweet, and are great for an after dinner treat.
  2. Great for Mock Cannoli: Aside from simply dusting powdered sugar on the pizzelle, there are other great ways to use up your pizzelle. One of the most creative (and most delicious) are these Mock Italian Cannoli. You can stuff the pizzelle with cannoli cream and have two traditional Italian desserts in one!
  3. 5 Minute Recipe: It doesn’t get much faster than making homemade Pizzelle Cookies! As mentioned in the recipe card, the average pizzelle cooks for about 24 seconds on our pizzelle maker. That means that after mixing the dough, you are just a few short seconds from delicious, traditional cookies.

What Ingredients are in this Recipe

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  1. Anise Seeds: Anise seeds have a very distinct flavor, that is known to taste like black licorice. If you think you won’t like this flavor, you can also eliminate the anise seeds from the recipe.
  2. Baking Powder: Make sure you do not use baking soda
  3. Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract.

How to Make this Recipe

Step 1: Make the Batter

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Beat eggs and sugar together until well-combined.

Add melted, cooled butter, vanilla, and anise seeds. Beat again.

Add flour and baking powder to a bowl and sift into the egg mixture. Batter should be thick enough to be dropped by a spoon (a mix between pancake batter and cookie dough).

Step 2: Bake the Pizzelle

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Spray a pizzelle maker with nonstick spray and drop a tablespoon of mixture onto the pizzelle maker.

Close the pizzelle maker and allow to cook until the pizzelles are brown. My maker takes about 24 seconds.

Remove the pizzelle from the pizzelle maker and place flat on a cookie sheet to cool. Spray pizzelle maker with nonstick spray between each new round of pizzelle.

Dust with powdered sugar if so desired. Enjoy!

Expert Tips

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  • I don’t find the anise seed amount overwhelming in this recipe. However, if you want to try the flavor without the risk of overpowering your cookies, you can add only half the amount of anise into the recipe. Alternatively, you can make half of the pizzelle plain, then add anise into the second half of the batter.
  • Don’t forget to spray the pizzelle maker with nonstick spray between each batch of Pizzelle Cookies. It is common for the Pizzelle to stick if not greased enough.
  • Keep a close eye on the pizzelle. They can go from perfectly browned to burned in a matter of seconds if not watched closely.
  • Use a fork to remove the pizzelle from the iron.

Recipe FAQs

Why Do Pizzelle Get Soft?

Pizzelle often get soft when there is a lot of moisture in the air. In order to keep them from losing their crispiness, you can keep them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

Another good option is to omit the baking powder from the recipe altogether if you are baking in a particularly humid place.

Lastly, if your Pizzelle Cookie Recipe has softened over a few days, you can bake the cookies on a cookie sheet in the oven for just a few minutes until they harden/toast back up again.

How Long Do Pizzelle Last?

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Pizzelle stay crispy for about 4 days or so. If you keep them in an airtight plastic bag, you may be able to extend this shelf life a bit.

If your cookies begin to soften, follow the instructions above to revive their crispiness.

What Does Pizzelle Mean?

The word Pizzelle comes from the Italian word “pizze” meaning “round and flat”. Sound like any other round and flat food we know? Hm… Like maybe this Margherita Pizza?!

Pizzelle are a round and flat and crispy cookie. They are great dusted in sugar or served with coffee or even ice cream!

What is the History of Pizzelle?

Pizzelle are actually the oldest known cookie in the world (MIND BLOWN!!). These cookies date back to the 7th or 8th centuries, and were thought to originate in Colcullo, a town in the region of Abruzzo, Italy.

Colcullo had been overrun by snakes. When the snakes were chased out of town the townspeople celebrated with a “Festival of the Snakes” in which Pizzelle were served. The festival is one of the oldest in history, and continues to be held each year on May 1 in Italy.

Pizzelle have carried much history in their design as well. The cookies have always looked like snowflakes, but they haven’t always had the same design.

In the past, the Pizzelle Makers used to form the cookies (also called irons) would be individualized to families, including familial crests, etc.

Did you enjoy this Pizzelle Cookie Recipe? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes that I picked out just for you:

  • Traditional Italian Biscotti Recipe
  • The Easy Tiramisu Recipe I Learned While Living in Italy
  • Strawberry Tiramisu Recipe
  • Pecan Snowball Cookies Recipe
  • Canadian Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

Traditional Italian Pizzelle Recipe (8)

Traditional Italian Pizzelle Recipe

This Pizzelle Recipe will teach you how to make Italian Pizzelle Cookies, the oldest cookies in the world. Pizzelle are a classic Italian cookie that are thin, snowflake-shaped and delicate. They are great served plain, with powdered sugar, nutella, or even ice cream!

Print Pin Rate

Course: Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 15

Calories: 160kcal

Author: Alexandria Drzazgowski

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp anise seed, optional
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  • Beat the 3 eggs and ¾ cup sugar together until well-combined.

  • Add the ½ cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and ½ tsp anise seeds. Beat again.

  • Sift 1 ¾ cup flour and 2 tsp baking powder into the egg mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The batter should be thick enough to be dropped by a spoon (a mix between pancake batter and cookie dough).

  • Spray a pizzelle maker with nonstick spray and drop a tablespoon of mixture onto the pizzelle maker.

  • Close the pizzelle maker and allow the pizzelle to cook until they are brown. My maker takes about 1 minute and 40 seconds.

  • Remove the pizzelle from the pizzelle maker and place flat on a cookie sheet to cool. Spray pizzelle maker with nonstick spray between each new round of pizzelle.

  • Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.

  • Anise Seeds: Anise seeds or anise extract have a very distinct flavor, that is known to taste like black licorice. If you think you won’t like this flavor, you can also eliminate the anise seeds from the recipe. Anise is a very traditional flavor. You can substitute vanilla extract or almond extract if you prefer.
  • Baking Powder: Make sure you do not use baking soda
  • Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract. I don’t find the anise flavor overwhelming in this recipe. However, if you want to try the flavor without the risk of overpowering your cookies, you can add only half the amount of anise to the recipe. Alternatively, you can make half of the pizzelle plain, then add anise into the second half of the batter.
  • Don’t forget to spray the pizzelle maker with nonstick spray or cooking spray between each batch of Snowflake Cookies. It is common for the Pizzelle to stick if not greased enough.
  • Keep a close eye on the pizzelle. These thin waffle cookies can go from perfectly browned to burned in a matter of seconds if not watched closely.
  • Use a fork to remove the pizzelle from the iron.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

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