Pizzelle Cookies are a classic Italian treat everyone loves. Crispy and light – you can flavor this recipe with vanilla or anise extract. Great for giving as a holiday gift or enjoying with family and friends! This post is sponsored by my friends at Bob’s Red Mill.
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There are few things I love more than pizzelle. If you’ve never had one, you’re missing out.
Thin, crispy, buttery… what’s not to love? They’re one of my favorite cookies and today I’m going to show you how you can make them perfectly, with ease!
What are Pizzelle?
Pizzelle are a classic Italian waffle-like cookie. They’re super thin, light, and crispy. They are traditionally made with a mixture of butter or oil, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla or anise extract in an iron (Pizzelle press) aka a pizzelle maker.
Pizzelle Pronunciation: Pizzelle is pronounced like: Pee- Zale. Pretty straightforward!
Basically – they’re one of the best Italian treats you’ll try!
A few years ago I learned how to make them with her and she shared all her best tips for making them which I’m sharing with you here.
My Gram is known for her perfect pizzelle. (P.S. If you need Christmas recipes – check out these Healthy Christmas Recipes!)
Pizzelle Cookie Ingredients
Pizzelle are made with only 6 ingredients. You’ll need:
You’ll also need a pizzelle iron. This pizzelle iron is the highest rated iron on Amazon.
To make these cookies, we used our favorite flour for baking – Bob’s Red Mill! Their all-purpose flour is unbleached and enriched to make it the absolute best for all baking – especially for the holidays!
This holiday season might look a little different from other years, but I’m excited that I can still make my favorite holiday treats + share them with friends/family using only the best ingredients!
How to make Pizzelle:
Making Pizzelle are easy!
- Beat together eggs and add sugar.
- Gradually stir in melted butter, vanilla extract, baking powder & flour.
- The dough is very thick, heavy, and sticky.
- Spray the iron lightly with cooking spray. I also wipe it off the edges with a paper towel to ensure there is none dripping off the side.
- Drop the dough by 1 tablespoon balls onto the hot pizzelle iron. Close and lock the iron for 8-12 seconds. It will steam and sizzle a bit.
- Open the oven and remove the pizzelle with a fork to avoid burning your hands.
- Place pizzelle on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
We keep them flat but they are pliable enough that you can roll them if you want.
You need to cool on a wire cooling rack, NOT a cookie sheet. They need to be on a cooling rack so that the steam can evaporate and they can get crispy. Do not put them on a baking sheet.
After cooling & before you serve, dust with powdered sugar.
Best pizzelle maker:
You need a pizzelle iron to make these pizzelle cookies. (Also known as a pizzelle maker)
Where to buy an iron: Most stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, or even Walmart should have one. Or you can order online.
Can you make pizzelle in a waffle iron? No you can’t. Pizzelle irons are very different from waffle irons. Pizzelle irons are shallow and thin, while waffle irons are much deeper!
I recommend getting one with non stick coating. We don’t normally recommend non stick cooking tools, but for these cookies it is helpful.
Why are my pizelles not crispy?
There are a few reasons why your pizzelle might not be crispy:
- Humidity – If you live in a very humid climate it can affect the crispiness of your cookies
- Cooling – You must cool your cookies completely before storing. They need to cool completely on a cooling rack before being stored.
- Undercooked – Pizzelle should be a very light golden brown. If they are soft – they might have needed a few more seconds in your iron.
Pizzelle Calories: Pizzelle cookies have between 60-80 calories per cookie. They’re very light, thin, and crispy!
Substitutions for Italian Pizzelle Cookies
There aren’t many substitutions I can offer for this recipe, but here are a few!
Extracts/Flavoring: You can replace vanilla extract with lemon extract, orange extract, anise extract, or almond extract. The different extracts provide different flavors. I prefer plain vanilla extract!
Chocolate Pizzelle: We have never made chocolate pizzelle so I’m not sure how to adjust this recipe. You can check out this Chocolate Pizzelle Recipe
Gluten Free: You can use Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free Flour in place of All Purpose Flour in this recipe.
How do you eat Pizzelles cookies?
We eat Pizzelle dusted with a tiny bit of powdered sugar. They’re fantastic plain! There are SO many different ways to eat pizzelle though – here are a few!
- Rolled – When the pizzelle come off the iron they are pliable and can be rolled. Some people use them as cannoli shells
- Cone for ice cream – I haven’t tried this but some people roll the pizzelle into a cone shape for ice cream
- Dusted with powder sugar – Just a little bit of powdered sugar makes all the difference!
- Crushed on top of ice cream
- Sandwich – You can turn the pizzelle into a sandwich with nutella, peanut butter, or caramel (like a stroopwafel) We recommend you don’t add your filling until you’re ready to serve because they will get soggy.
- Tip for perfect pizzelles: Pizzelle are pretty forgiving because you’re dusting them with powdered sugar (which hides imperfections!) However – if you mess up and add too much batter or want them to look more uniform you can trim them with scissors!
Storing Pizzelle Cookies:
You MUST cool your Italian Pizzelle Cookies completely before storing them or they will get soggy!
Storing: I store in ziploc bags or stasher bags. You can also store it in a container but I find bags are better.
Can you freeze them? I haven’t tried freezing them but I think it would work fine!
How long do Pizzelles stay fresh?
Pizzelle cookies can stay fresh for a long time. We keep ours for up to a month in a ziploc bag. They are a hard/dry cookies so it takes a while for them to get stale.
Pizzelle Cookie FAQ:
Your pizzelles might be sticking because of your iron. Try spraying it lightly with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe off any excess cooking spray/oil from the edges.
You can’t make pizzelle without an iron. You need an iron to ensure that they get super crispy/flat. Here’s a link to an iron I recommend on Amazon.
Pizzelle cookies can stay fresh for a long time. We keep ours for up to a month in a ziploc bag. They are a hard/dry cookie so it takes a while for them to get stale.
First, cool pizzelles completely before storing them. They need to cool on wire cooling racks, not a baking sheet. The wire cooling racks help the steam/heat evaporate so the cookies don’t maintain any moisture. Store cooled cookies in a sealed ziploc bag or container.
You could but I would not recommend it. The dough only takes about 5 minutes to come together, so just make it fresh!
Pizzelle cookies taste like a basic vanilla butter cookie. They’re pretty flavorless unless you add almond or anisette extract. They’re crispy and sweet.
Pizzelles should be crunchy! They’re a thin, light, crispy cookie. If your pizelles are soft, it means they have absorbed moisture from the air or they weren’t cooked enough.
Pizzelle cookies are a traditional Italian cookie.
How do you keep Pizzelle crispy?
First, cool your pizzelle completely before storing them. They need to cool on wire cooling racks, not a baking sheet.
The wire cooling racks help the steam/heat evaporate so the cookies don’t maintain any moisture. Then store your cookies in a sealed ziploc bag or container.
Reheating in the oven: I have never tried this, but I think that if you were to place the pizzelle on a oven safe cooling rack and bake at a low temp (under 200) for a few minutes, it would help restore their crispness
Italian Pizzelle Cookies
- Beat eggs and sugar until smooth.
- Add melted butter and vanilla.
- Gradually add flour and baking powder. Mix until combined. The dough will be sticky and heavy
- Heat pizzelle iron and lightly grease with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe off excess oil.
- Drop dough in 1 tablespoon balls in the center of the iron. We use two spoons but you could also use a small cookie scoop. Shut iron and lock for 10-30 seconds. (Your iron may take less or more time, you'll have to test!) They should be golden brown
- Open and remove cooked pizzelles by using a fork or butter knife to avoid burning your hands.
- Place cookies on cooling racks to cool – do not stack them until they are completely cooled. Do not put them on a baking sheet, they need to be on a cooling rack so the steam can evaporate.
- They will be slightly floppy when they come off the iron but they will crisp up!
- Before serving, dust with powdered sugar & enjoy!