Nonna's Pizzelle Cookies Recipe: Traditional Italian Cookies for the Holidays by Ann Marie Patitucci

Cookies Holidays Desserts
9 months ago

Nonna's Pizzelle Cookies Recipe: Traditional Italian Cookies for the Holidays

When I was a kid, I remember going to my cousins’ house during the holidays and seeing their grandmother arrive with a tray heaping with Italian cookies. Her cookie tray included a waffle-like cookie with a pretty pattern; I had never seen it before. It was as tasty as it was beautiful. I later learned that the traditional Italian cookie was called a pizzelle and that it’s often made during the holidays for dessert.

I’ve also learned that these delicious cookies were originally made in the region of Abruzzo in Central Italy in the 8th century and that the word pizzelle in Italian essentially means small rounds. Interesting fact: the plural of pizzelle is not pizzelles, but rather pizzelle. However, I’ve heard plenty of people use pizzelle instead.

To make these Italian cookies, you’ll need flour, eggs, butter and anise (or vanilla). You’ll cook them with a pizzelle iron, which is similar to a waffle maker. They’re crisp and sweet and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Bonus: if you’re looking for a sweet homemade treat to gift someone at the holidays, pizzelle look pretty and festive in a plastic treat bag tied with a bow.

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 36


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon anise extract or vanilla extract (anise has a licorice-like flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat the pizzelle iron and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs, anise or vanilla extract and baking powder to create the cookie batter. Drop slightly rounded tablespoons of batter on to pizzelle iron and close.
  3. Bake as directed by pizzelle manufacturer or until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a nonstick spatula, remove each pizzelle and transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Cool pizzelle completely and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

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Pizzelle Makers $30 & Up
Flour $2 & Up
Anise Extract $4 & Up
Vanilla Extract $4 & Up
Powdered Sugar $2 & Up

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Donna John
Now I not only want a panini maker for Christmas, but a pizzelle iron, too. lol These are good dipped in melted chocolate. :)
Ooooh, love these but never knew how to make them!

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