This pizzelle recipe is flat crispy vanilla flavored cookies that are baked in an iron, then finished with a dusting of powdered sugar. A classic Italian dessert that’s perfect for parties and gift giving!
I love to give homemade goodies as gifts, especially during the holiday season. Some of my favorite treats to give out include reindeer chow, chocolate covered pretzels and these impressive looking pizzelle cookies.
When I’m looking for a unique and unexpected dessert, I turn to pizzelle cookies. They’re light and crispy, full of flavor, and also happen to be super easy to make. Serve your pizzelles as-is, or mold them into cup or cone shapes to serve with ice cream and berries.
What is a pizzelle?
A pizzelle is an Italian cookie that is like a crispy, flat and sweet waffle. Pizzelles are made by cooking batter in a pizzelle iron (similar to a waffle iron). Pizzelles cook up flat with a pattern or design appearing in raised ridges on the cookie. They are traditionally enjoyed at parties such as weddings and on holidays such as Easter and Christmas. These cookies also can be shaped into cups, cones or even rolled and stuffed with a sweet filling.
How do you make pizzelle cookies?
Making pizzelle cookies is a lot like making waffles; just make a batter and cook it on a pizzelle iron. To make the batter, whisk together eggs, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Sift in flour and baking powder. Mix the batter until it is smooth. Brush a thin coating of vegetable oil on your pizzelle iron and heat up the iron. Pour a tablespoon of batter at the center of each pizzelle pattern on the pizzelle iron and close the lid. In about 30 seconds the pizzelles will be cooked, golden and ready to remove. Let the cookies cool and harden on a flat surface and they are ready to serve with a little powdered sugar on top!
Tips for the perfect cookies
- If your cookies are coming out uneven, try adding the batter slightly to the back (hinged side) of the center pizzelle pattern. Closing the lid will push the batter forward.
- Use a wooden skewer to remove the cookies from the iron. The iron will be hot, so be careful.
- A good way to know that your cookie is just about finished is that steam will stop coming out of the iron.
- You can use a pizzelle iron or certain waffle irons or sandwich makers that come with detachable pizzelle plates.
- You can use different extracts to flavor your cookies. Try using a teaspoon of almond, lemon, orange or anise extract instead of the vanilla.
- If you want a perfectly round cookie, you can try adding a little more batter so that the batter spreads outside of the pizzelle patterns. When the cookies are cooked and cool enough to handle, just trim off any excess with kitchen shears.
How long do pizzelles stay fresh?
In an airtight container, these cookies last 2 weeks. Make sure the container is airtight to avoid moisture which can make the cookies limp or soft.
Can you freeze pizzelles?
You can freeze pizzelles in an airtight container. These cookies stay fresh in the freezer for 3 months. When you are ready to eat them, just thaw them in an airtight container on a countertop. If you’re planning to freeze your cookies, add the powdered sugar after the cookies have thawed.
Pizzelle cookies are crispy, golden and so very delicious. They are holiday treats that are good enough to make year round!
More cookie recipes you’ll enjoy
- Pizzelle iron, waffle iron with pizzelle attachment or a sandwich maker with a pizzelle attachment.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Use a sifter to add the flour and baking powder to the batter. Mix the batter until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
- Brush a pizzelle iron with oil until lightly coated. Make sure to brush the top and bottom plates of the pizzelle iron.
- Place about a tablespoon of batter at the center of each pizzelle pattern in the pizzelle iron and close the lid.
- Let the batter cook for around 30 seconds and lift the lid. The pizzelle should be cooked through and golden.
- Every pizzelle iron is different. You can adjust the amount of batter or cooking time to make your perfect pizzelle.
- When each pizzelle is cooked, carefully remove it from the pizzelle maker and lay it on a flat surface to cool and harden.
- Sift powdered sugar over the pizzelles just before serving them.
I’ve been making pizzelles for 50 years. I once lived in a wonderful little Italian community in Pennsylvania and a dear Italian neighbor brought me a plate of pizzelles to welcome us. My children loved them so much. She shared the recipe with me. I found a pizzelle iron on Amazon and purchased it in 1973. Every Christmas all these years, they have been a part of our Christmas. I’ve purchased pizzelle irons for two of my grand daughters. Now, one of my grand daughters is engaged to a wonderful Italian boy and he was amazed that she not only knew about them but also had the iron to create them. We’ve always used anise as the flavoring and it’s such a tradition We’re not going to change it.
They came out perfect! I’m doubling the recipe next time as they were gobbled down so quickly.
A quick fix for families is to use the hot puzzles and wrap around a metal or wooden dowel to shape like a Cannoli. When cool or at serving time full with ricotta filling.
Thank you so much for recommending to place the dough slightly to the rear instead of right in the center for a more uniform cookie!! Great article.
These are absolutely gorgeous!
Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!! Loved making these for my Italian sister in law – she thought they were just delicious!
What a delightful idea, your Pizzelle’s look wonderful. I do love to make homemade goodies for gifting. These are perfect for just that and so very festive.
These are such a guilty pleasure of mine! I’ve never thought to make them. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
A mix between a cookie and a waffle!? I’m so in! They are the perfect edible gift for the holidays too!
Hoe beautiful and perfect these looks. Never tried at home. Thankas for sharing.
I have no had these cookies in forever! Now I need to have these for this holiday season!!
I just got back from a trip to Italy five days ago and was so hoping to be able to find a pizzelle mold – no such luck! I’ll have to settle for buying one here – not quite as sentimental but still every bit as delicious! 🙂
Did you check Amazon? I’m pretty sure I saw them there.
These pizzelle look fabulous! I should try them this weekend!
They are so gorgeous! I bet they taste amazing too!
It isn’t the holidays without these cookies on a tray. They’re the only ones Santa wants in or house.
These are so unique and very tasty looking. Thank you for sharing!
They came out great! Will make them again!!