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Pizzelle (Italian Christmas Cookies)

Indulge in the art of Italian baking with this easy Pizzelle Cookies recipe. Perfect for any occasion, these thin, waffle-like cookies are a delightful treat that's sure to impress.

December 14, 2023
PizzellePhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 8 people
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 50 mins




  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla extract (or anise, lemon zest, or almond extract).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring until a smooth batter forms.


  1. Preheat the pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Lightly brush the iron with a bit of melted butter or oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Place about a tablespoon of batter in the center of each pattern on the pizzelle iron. Close the lid and cook for about 30-60 seconds, or until golden and crisp.
  4. Carefully remove the pizzelle and place it on a wire rack to cool. For shaped pizzelles, wrap the hot cookie around a cannoli tube or roll into cones immediately after removing them from the iron.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Pizzelle
Serves 8
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 1 g2%
Total Fat 3 g3.8%
Sodium 70 mg3%
Cholesterol 10 mg3.3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Ensure the batter is smooth and consistent for even cooking and crisp pizzelles.
  • Preheat the pizzelle iron adequately. A properly heated iron ensures quick and even cooking.
  • Place the batter slightly behind the center of the pattern for a more even spread once the lid is closed.
  • Don't overfill. Use just enough batter to cover the pattern without overflowing to avoid thick or uneven edges.
  • Cook the pizzelles until golden, but be watchful as they can burn quickly. Each pizzelle iron may vary in cooking time.
  • Allow the pizzelles to cool on a wire rack to maintain their crispiness.
  • If shaping the pizzelles, do it quickly after removing them from the iron while they are still pliable.
  • Store cooled pizzelles in an airtight container to keep them crisp for up to two weeks.
  • Experiment with flavors like lemon zest, almond extract, or cocoa powder for variety.
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Transport yourself to the heart of Italy with this traditional Pizzelle Cookies recipe. Originating from the Abruzzo region, Pizzelles are known for their delicate, crisp texture and snowflake-like patterns. Often flavored with anise, vanilla, or lemon zest, these waffle-like cookies are a staple during Italian festivals and celebrations. Making pizzelles at home is a delightful experience, and all you need is a pizzelle iron and a few simple ingredients.

The Origin of Pizzelle

Pizzelle cookies hold a cherished place in Italian culinary history. Their origins can be traced back to ancient Roman times, making them one of the oldest known cookies. The name 'pizzelle' itself comes from the Italian word "pizze," meaning round and flat. Many believe these cookies originated in the South-Central region of Abruzzo, where they were initially made on cast iron grills over an open flame.

Traditionally, pizzelle were made during celebrations and festivities, particularly for Christmas and Easter. Each cookie would often bear the family crest or a symbolic design, as pizzelle irons were custom-made for families. These designs could range from intricate floral patterns to religious symbols, adding a personal touch to the cookies. The art of making pizzelle was typically passed down through generations, with each family having its unique recipe and design.

Today, pizzelle making continues to be a beloved tradition, especially among Italian families around the world. Modern electric pizzelle irons have made the process more accessible, allowing this delightful tradition to endure. Pizzelles are not only a festive treat but also a connection to cultural heritage and family history. They are enjoyed not just for their delicate flavor and crisp texture, but also for the memories and sentiments they evoke, especially during holiday gatherings and special occasions.

Variations and Substitutions

Pizzelle cookies are wonderfully versatile, allowing for various adaptations to suit different tastes and dietary needs. Here are some variations and substitutions you can try:

Flavor Variations:

  • Citrus Zest Pizzelles: Add lemon, orange, or lime zest to the batter for a fresh, citrusy flavor.
  • Chocolate Pizzelles: Incorporate cocoa powder into the batter for a chocolate version. You can also add mini chocolate chips.
  • Spiced Pizzelles: Mix in spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for a warm, spiced flavor.
  • Almond Pizzelles: Use almond extract instead of vanilla or anise and add finely chopped almonds to the batter.
  • Coffee Flavored Pizzelles: Add espresso powder to the batter for a subtle coffee flavor.

Dietary Substitutions:

  • Gluten-Free Pizzelles: Use a gluten-free flour blend instead of regular all-purpose flour to make gluten-free pizzelles.
  • Vegan Pizzelles: Substitute eggs with a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water per egg) or commercial egg replacers. Use plant-based butter as well.
  • Dairy-Free Pizzelles: Use dairy-free butter or coconut oil in place of regular butter.

Pizzelle vs Stroopwafels

Pizzelles and stroopwafels are different cookies. Pizzelles are thin, crispy, and flat cookies made with ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, and butter. They can be enjoyed on their own, shaped into cones with ice cream, or filled with cream for sandwich cookies.

Stroopwafels are thin waffle-like cookies filled with a chewy caramel-like syrup. People often place them on hot drinks like coffee or tea to soften the syrup.

Even though both are thin and go well with hot drinks, stroopwafels and pizzelles have different textures, fillings, and cultural origins, giving a variety of flavors and experiences.

How To Serve Pizzelles?

  • Dusted with Powdered Sugar: For a simple yet elegant touch, dust the pizzelles with powdered sugar before serving.
  • Sandwich Cookies: Spread jam, Nutella, or a buttercream filling between two pizzelles to make sandwich cookies.
  • Cannoli Shells: While still warm, quickly roll the pizzelles around a wooden dowel to form tubes. Fill with cannoli cream once cooled.
  • Ice Cream Cones: Mold the warm pizzelles into cone shapes and use them as homemade ice cream cones.
  • Dipped in Chocolate: Dip half of each pizzelle in melted chocolate and let it harden for a decadent treat.

These variations and substitutions make pizzelle cookies a delightful treat for any occasion, catering to a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with new flavors, pizzelles are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

How To Store Pizzelles?

Storing pizzelle cookies properly is essential to maintain their crisp texture and delicate flavor. Here’s how to store them effectively:

Short-Term Storage:

  • Ensure that the pizzelles are completely cooled to room temperature before storing. This prevents any steam buildup, which could make them lose their crispness.
  • Store the pizzelles in an airtight container. Tin cans, plastic containers, or even large zip-top bags work well.
  • If stacking pizzelles in a container, consider placing a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Keep the container at room temperature in a dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Long-Term Storage:

  • For longer storage, pizzelle cookies can be frozen. Place them in a freezer-safe container or bag, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
  • When properly stored, pizzelles can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. This is a great way to preserve their freshness if you've made a large batch or want to keep them on hand for unexpected guests.
  • To thaw frozen pizzelles, simply remove them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes. They usually don’t take long to defrost due to their thin nature.

Additional Tips:

  • Avoid Humidity: Humidity is the enemy of pizzelles. Store them in a place with low humidity to prevent them from becoming soft or chewy.
  • Check for Freshness: Before serving stored pizzelles, especially those that have been frozen, check for any signs of freezer burn or a loss in flavor or texture.
  • Do Not Refrigerate: Refrigeration can introduce moisture to the cookies, making them lose their crispness.

By following these storage tips, your pizzelle cookies will retain their delightful crispness and flavor, making them a perfect treat to enjoy over time. Whether you're savoring them with a cup of coffee or tea or serving them to guests, properly stored pizzelles will always taste as good as the day you made them.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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