Classic Italian Pizzelle Cookies are a family tradition for the Christmas holidays!
Classic Italian Pizzelle Cookies
Today I'm sharing with you my Grandmother's recipe for Classic Italian Pizzelle Cookies. A family favorite Christmas cookie for many, many years!
When I was a little girl, my grandmother would send us a box about a week before Christmas, every year. This box would be filled with the most delicious and beautiful cookies; all hand-made by my grandmother.
One of my favorite cookies that she would send were these pizzelle cookies that I'm sharing with you today.
What is a Pizzelle Cookie?
Pizzelles are a very common cookie in an Italian household and are often served for special occasions, such as weddings. It's not uncommon to find a variety of pizzelle cookies on the sweets table at a wedding or bridal shower.
They're thin, crispy, waffle-type cookies made by pouring batter between the two plates of a special electric iron.
These cookies are closely associated with family; in fact, pizzelle irons have been fashioned with the pattern of a family’s crest. I don't have a family crest pizzelle iron...but how fun would that be?
One year, as my mother was opening the box of goodies, at the very bottom of the box was a brand new pizzelle iron with a note informing my mother that she would now be making pizzelles for her own family and my mother began making pizzelles the next year and has been making them every since.
Over the years I've helped her and even borrowed her iron to make my own but this year I decided to go ahead and purchase my very own pizzelle iron.
Here's a photo of me making the cookies in my mom's kitchen in 2011.
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- Anise Flavoring - you can use either this flavoring or anise seeds. My grandmother always used the seeds.
- Anise Seeds
- Pizzelle Iron
Here is my mother's original pizzelle iron that my grandmother sent to her many years ago.
Here is the original recipe that came with my mother's iron.
How to Make Classic Italian Pizzelle Cookies
The batter comes together very quickly. You can choose to use either vanilla extract or anise extract. My grandmother and mother always use anise seeds.
- ½ cup butter softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. anise extract or vanilla extract
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the eggs and the flavoring (anise or vanilla) OR add the anise seeds.
Combine the baking powder with the flour and slowly add to the egg and butter mixture.
Once your iron is hot, spoon about a tablespoon of batter onto the iron.
Close the iron and let cook for just a few minutes...do NOT walk away.
Remove the cookies using a spatula or a fork.
Place on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
- My mother and grandmother always substituted the vanilla with 1 tsp. anise seeds.
- I like to use 1 tsp. of anise flavoring.