This Italian Pizzelle recipe is a classic Christmas cookie that we all know and love. They're super easy to make with a light and slightly crisp texture you won't be able to get enough of!
Italian Pizzelle Recipe
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My dad's side of the family is Italian-American. My grandparents were first generation Americans and made a point to hold on to the traditions that their ancestors embraced. So every year around Christmastime, I knew that if I was going to Grandma's house, there would be Pizzelle's ready to eat (along with a slew of other fantastic cookies).
Pizzelle's are a tradition in many Italian-American families around the holiday season. These cookies have a delightfully light and slightly crispy texture. They're also pretty thin and fun to eat and they look gorgeous on any cookie platter (even for all their imperfections when I make them!).
Now like most recipes that are beloved in their cultures, each family has their own variation and trick for how to make the best version! This Pizzelle recipe is is no different. In our family, there has always been a debate about whether to flavor them with Vanilla or Anise extract. I personally love them both, so I left either one as an option for this recipe.
Tips for making Pizzelle Cookies
- Make sure you let the melted butter cool so it doesn't cook the eggs in the batter. I also like to temper the batter which means, adding a small amount of the butter and mixing it well and then slowly adding more while mixing until it's all in. By slowly adding the warm butter, it will also slowly change the temperature to avoid scrambling the eggs (note: if you do find that you've scrambled the eggs, don't worry, just run the batter through a strainer to remove the chunks).
- To grease the pizzelle iron, I put a small amount of vegetable oil onto a folded paper towel and carefully rub it over the hot irons. You don't need much- and the first cookie or two may be a tiny it greasy but then they'll be good.
- Every machine is different, so it'll be around a couple teaspoons of batter into each cookie part of the iron and after the first couple cookies, you'll figure out the best amount.
- I place the batter in the middle of each cookie iron or slightly above the middle and carefully and quickly spread it slightly. Once the batter is in, close it and keep it closed for around 30 seconds. Again, this will vary by machine, but you want the cookies to be just starting to get a tiny bit golden.
- I use a small fork to remove the cookies. Do it carefully and place them on a cooling rack with parchment underneath. The cookies will be soft at first but will harden a bit once they've been sitting for a few minutes. Don't stack them until cool or they won't harden up as nicely. So leave them alone and let them do their thing.
How far in advance can you make Pizzelles?
You can make the batter up to 3 days in advance to cooking, just store it covered in the refrigerator.
How do you keep Pizzelles crisp?
By storing them at room temperature but not in an air-tight container.
Can you freeze pizzelles?
Yes, I'd freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan before wrapping them together.
How do you store pizzelles?
We usually store ours in the cardboard gift boxes that you would put clothing in before wrapping it. Be sure you don't stack them until they're cooled completely.
How long can Pizzelles be stored?
Up to two weeks at room temperature.
How do you clean a pizzelle iron?
We heat up the iron and take a few layers of wet paper towel. Close the iron like you're making a cookie and it will steam for a moment or two. Just don't do it for too long.
Ingredients for making this Pizzelle recipe:
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Vanilla or Anise extract
- Confectioner's sugar (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Stand mixer or Hand mixer
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Cooling rack
- Pizzelle press
Italian Pizzelle recipe
- 1 ½ cups butter (2 ½ sticks)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla or anise extract
- 3 ¼ cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- Confectioner's sugar for garnish (optional)
- Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove and set aside to cool.
- Combine flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
- While the butter cools, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla or anise extract until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add a small amount of the butter to the batter and mix it well and then slowly add butter more while mixing until well combined to prevent the butter from cooking the egg. By slowly adding the warm butter, it will also slowly change the temperature to avoid scrambling the eggs (note: if you do find that you've scrambled the eggs, don't worry, just run the batter through a strainer to remove the chunks).
- Add flour and baking powder mixture to the batter and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides.
- Dip a folded paper towel into a very small amount of vegetable oil and carefully rub it over the pizzelle iron. Close the iron and heat fully.
- Once heated, place a 1-2 teaspoons of batter around the middle of each cookie press on the iron and quickly spread it slightly. Every machine is different, so it'll be around a couple teaspoons of batter into each cookie part of the iron and after the first couple cookies, you'll figure out the best amount.
- Once the batter is in, close the iron tightly and keep it closed for around 30 seconds. Again, this will vary by machine, but you want the cookies to be just starting to get a tiny bit golden.
- Using a small fork, carefully remove the cookies and place them on a cooling rack with parchment underneath in a single layer until fully cooled. The cookies will be soft at first but will harden a bit once they've been sitting for a few minutes.
- Serve immediately or store in a cardboard clothing gift box at room temperature for up to two weeks.
If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! And if you make this please tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share it <3
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