Easy, classic Italian pizzelle cookies recipe, homemade from scratch with simple ingredients. Beautiful, thin and crispy with aromatic vanilla and anise extracts.
These cookies have just a few ingredients with beautiful designs! A light, crisp cookie full of flavor is the perfect holiday treat-and you can't stop at just one! There are various ways to eat them, too, but there's no need to stop there. Try out my Shortbread Linzer Cookies and Italian Rainbow Cookies, too, and add some new, yummy recipes to your collection.
What are pizzelle cookies?
These are traditional Italian waffle style cookies made with a few basic ingredients. The word "pizzelle" basically means small, flat, and round. They can be eaten as is or rolled into a cone and stuffed with various fillings, such as cannoli, or ice cream.
How to make Italian pizzelle cookies recipe from scratch?
- Whisk eggs- Until frothy.
- Add sugar- And mix until slightly thickened.
- Mix in other ingredients- This includes oil, vanilla extract, anise extract.
- Add dry ingredients- This includes flour and baking powder.
- Mix- Until smooth.
- Drop batter- Onto a hot pizzelle maker.
- Cook- Until light golden brown.
- Transfer- To cooling rack.
- Enjoy- As is or with a dusting powdered sugar.
What to do with pizzelle cookies?
You can enjoy them as they are or mold them into cones or faux cannoli shapes while they are still warm. Then fill them with ice cream or cannoli filling or even frostings of your choice.
What is anise extract? What does it taste like?
This extract comes from the star anise herb and is typically mixed with vodka to make a tincture. It tastes like licorice and is often used as licorice flavoring for candies. It has a strong flavor and aroma. So, use sparingly.
What is pizzelle maker/ iron? Where to find it/ buy it?
It is a special machine or tool, similar to a waffle iron, but the grooves are intricately designed and more shallow. You can find it/buy it on Amazon or other major websites, such as Target, Walmart, and Home Depot.
How to keep anise pizzelle from sticking to the iron?
Definitely use a nonstick iron! I highly recommend it. However, if you are using a stainless steel one, spray with oil and pat it lightly with paper towel. But don't grease it too much, because you don’t want oily cookies!
Dip them- In melted chocolate once they are cooled, then set aside until chocolate hardens. You can use white, dark, semisweet or milk chocolate.
Add zest- Such as lime, lemon, or orange, to a give a hint of citrus flavor that can really change things up.
Make cookie sandwiches- Choose your favorite filling to place in between two of the cookies. Be sure to serve immediately or else the cookies can become soggy. I suggest some of these filling ideas:
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Ice cream
- Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Thick Caramel Sauce or Caramel Frosting
- Best Sugar Cookie Frosting
Chocolate flavored cookies- Use the recipe below and mix in a little cocoa powder. It will also make the cookies a brown color.
Color the dough- These cookies are great for holidays, especially with a little color! Use your desired food coloring options to make the cookies green for St. Patricks' day, red for Christmas, pink for Valentine's, and more.
Tips and Techniques
Use anise wisely- Because it is a very strong extract. Be sure to watch the quantity being added.
Total number of cookies may vary- The total number is based on the size of your tool/iron and how large your cookies are. Different irons have different sizes and designs.
Design may vary- Keep in mind that your cookies may look different than the ones pictured, depending on the design on your iron plates.
How to remove cookies from pizzelle maker? Gently remove it with a fork or toothpick. Don't be aggressive.
Make sure to preheat iron- Because it allows the cookies to start cooking immediately and prevents the likelihood of sticking and burning.
Batter will be thick and sticky- That's perfectly okay! In fact, it's supposed to be this way, so don't thin it out or else the batter will spill over the sides of the maker and your cookies will be thin, burnt crisps.
Anise extract substitute- There is no exact replacement, so just use another extract of your choice. However, it won't be the same as the traditional flavor anymore.
How to keep pizzelles crisp?- Keep them away from humidity, sealed in a container or ziplock bag, and at room temperature.
Use room temperature eggs- Because they blend together better. This will make a better batter as well and, therefore, a better cookie.
Flour must be sifted- Because these cookies need to be light, not heavy, which is what happens when weighed down by too much flour.
Why are my cookies soggy and chewy? How to fix it? This usually happens when too much liquid was added to the batter or when the baked cookies were exposed to too much humidity. A quick fix wold be to bake them in oven on low temperature to crisp them up again.
Refrigerate- Store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
Room temperature- Store in a cookie jar for up to 1 week.
Freezer- Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Thaw to room temperature to eat.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Best Christmas Cookies
- Christmas Tree Cookies
- Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- Shortbread Linzer Cookies (With Jam)
- Jumbo Gingerbread Men Cookies
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and mix until frothy. This takes about 2-3 minutes.
- Add sugar and mix until slightly thickened. This takes about 3-4 minutes.
- Add oil, vanilla extract, anise extract and mix until combined.
- Add sifted flour, baking powder and mix until smooth. The mixture will be thick and sticky. Don't add any liquid to thin it out. You can only add a light splash of water, only if the mixture is not combining properly.
- Drop 1 tablespoon of batter onto a hot pizzelle maker that's been lightly greased with oil.
- Close lid and cook for about 30-45 seconds or until light golden brown.
- Remove from the pizzelle press and transfer to a cooling rack. They will still be slightly soft and pliable at this point. Once they cool completely, they will become crispy.
- Enjoy as is or with a dusting powdered sugar.
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a cookie jar at room temperature for up to 1 week.