Classic Italian Pizzelle Cookies are light, crispy, buttery, and delicious! Pizzelle are particularly popular for Christmas and Easter, but also tasty all year round.
Italian cookies are some of my favorites! In fact, most every type of Italian food is delicious; they really know what they’re doing over there.
This Pizzelle recipe is similar to what would be made in Italian households on holidays. You might enjoy a Pizzelle in Italy with a cup of espresso, or spread with jam as a breakfast or snack.
Why You’ll Love this Pizzelle Recipe
- Easy Ingredients: A pizzelle cookie recipe only needs six ingredients, that you probably already have!
- Simple Recipe: As always, I’ll give you the step-by-step instructions and all the information you need to make the perfect Pizzelle cookie.
- Everyone’s Favorite: People will understand that these cookies were made with love, and they love you for making them.
- Vanilla Flavor: The traditional flavor of Pizzelle might be anise, but in this recipe, we’re using vanilla extract instead. Everyone will enjoy these tasty and simple vanilla pizzelle.
Ingredients in Pizzelle Cookies
The ingredients in this cookie recipe are super common, easy to find, and inexpensive.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Butter: Melted butter lets us make a thin, buttery, rich pizzelle batter. I usually melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.
- Granulated Sugar: To add sweetness and give the cookies a crisp texture.
- Eggs: Let your eggs come to room temperature before making the batter so that everything mixes together smoothly.
- Vanilla Extract: I’m adding vanilla extract to my pizzelle, but you can exchange this for anise, almond, or any other flavor you like.
- All-purpose flour: regular all-purpose flour does the trick.
- Baking Powder: Creates the light texture of Pizzelle when they are cooked.
- Pizzelle Maker: This isn’t an ingredient, but it is a requirement for making these cookies! I use this pizzelle iron, and it makes the perfect pizzelle that never stick. Plus it gives them a pretty pattern!
How to Make Pizzelle
Pizzelle are made similarly to waffles! You just mix up the pizzelle batter and then cook them in the iron, two at a time.
- Mix the Pizzelle Batter: In a large bowl, combine the melted butter with granulated sugar and whisk until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and continue whisking until well combined. Add the flour and baking powder and mix again until just combined. Don’t overmix pizzelle batter.
- Get Ready: Turn on your Pizzelle iron so that it can preheat. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as some models will need to be greased and others won’t. My nonstick pizzelle iron does not need to be greased.
- Cook Pizzelle: Add a heaping tablespoon of batter to each space on your iron. Close the lid and cook for 45-60 seconds, or until done. You’ll know they are done when steam is no longer coming from the iron.
- Cool: Remove the pizzelle and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. They will be soft when you first take them off of the press and will harden as they cool.
Pizzelle Making Tips and Tricks
To get neat edges: Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim off any uneven edges while the pizzelles are still warm. This makes them look nice, but is not at all necessary.
Avoid overfilling: It’s better to underfill the pizzelle iron than to overfill it. You can see that mine don’t go all the way to the edges, and I’m ok with that.
Your pizzelle iron may be different: Unless you have the same pizzelle maker that I do, there is a good chance that the cooking time will be a bit different. Check your user manual to learn how to use the machine before you start cooking.
Roll them: While the pizzelle are still warm, you can roll them into cannoli shell shapes. You could even roll them around a cone-shaped tool to create mini pizzelle ice cream cones! Fill the pizzelle with buttercream frosting, cannoli dip, sweetened ricotta cheese, or ice cream.
How to Store Pizzelle
Store your pizzelle in an airtight container at room temperature. They can last up to two weeks as long as no moisture gets to them.
Pizzelle can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Enjoy them right away after defrosting.
The Best Pizzelle Iron
Pizzelle irons come in different styles. You may have a vintage stovetop pizzelle maker, passed down from an Italian great-grandmother. If so, that’s fantastic, but modern pizzelle makers are mostly electric, plug-in models that are easy to use and clean.
If you don’t already have a pizzelle maker and are looking for the best one to buy, I suggest buying a non-stick electric model. I have this one from CucinaPro that is really easy to use. It also comes in a version without the nonstick coating. Some might prefer this, but I definitely prefer the non-stick one.
More Fun Cookie Recipes
- Italian Cookies with Sprinkles
- Banana Bread Cookies
- Soft Orange Cookies
- Ombre Spritz Cookies
- Eggnog Cookies
Pizzelle flavored with anise are usually viewed as the traditional flavor. The flavor of anise is like black licorice, and is not everyone’s favorite, so I prefer to use vanilla in this recipe. You can use 1 teaspoon of anise extract in place of the vanilla if you like.
The word for these pizzelle cookies comes from “pizze” which means round and flat (like pizza), and the ending “-elle” which means little. So in Italian, pizzelle means, “little round cookies”!
The simple answer is that yes, you can make pizzelle without an iron. This would involve making them in a skillet using some sort of heavy press to flatten the batter. That said, I don’t recommend that you try to do this. It might be a fun experiment, but you won’t get pretty, molded cookies.
Get out your pizzelle iron and make up these simple and traditional pizzelle cookies! They are perfect for a holiday, or a delicious any-day treat! Be sure to pin this recipe to save it.