Delicate. Thin. Crispy. Wafer like. This is how I would describe this classic, authentic, Italian cookie: Pizzelle della Nonna. This amazing recipe for pizzelle is an easy, simple, no butter recipe, that can simply be flavored with vanilla, anise, or even chocolate. Your search for the perfect pizzelle recipe is over!
This recipe was originally published on November 24, 2014 and republished on October 8, 2019 with updated content, photos and a video.
According to history, the first pizzelle cookies were made in the region of Abruzzo (geographically located in Central Italy) back in the 8th century. These highly recognizable Italian cookies get their shape by flattening the batter between two hot iron plates (just like waffles). These plates (rectangular or round) often had the pattern of the family crest engraved on them.
Nowadays, the imprint can be a geometric/waffle design, a flower or even a snowflake pattern.
As such, classic pizzelle recipes will always include these four basic ingredients:
- flour and
- a fat source.
The quantities and the type of fat used will determine the texture and thickness of the pizzelle; and as for the flavoring, it really is a question of taste. My personal preference is the flavor of my childhood, vanilla and anise.
Let me show you how this anise pizzelle recipe can easily be made with a pizzelle iron.
HOW TO MAKE PIZZELLES:
Begin by whisking three eggs until they begin to thicken. Next, add the sugar and whisk until it is well incorporated. As you can see, I like to use my whisk. If it is easier for you to use your stand mixer, make sure to use the whisk attachment.
Next, add in the oil and liquid extracts such as vanilla and anise.
Moving right along, whisk in the dry ingredients which consist of flour, baking powder and salt.
That’s it! The batter to make the perfect pizzelle is done. Now for the fun part!
Heat the pizzelle iron and drop about one tablespoon of dough in the middle of each of the plates. Drop the upper heated element and in approximately 45 seconds you will have pizzelles.
When pizzelle are removed from the iron plate, they are extremely malleable. You literally have a few seconds to drape it over a bowl, or to wrap them around cannoli tubes to get your desired shape (cannoli, bowl, tulip, cone, etc great for custard or ice cream). Alternately, you can lay them flat.
HOW TO OBTAIN PIZZELLE THAT STAY CRISPY AKA THE SECRET TO PERFECT PIZZELLES:
After witnessing my grandmother making her authentic Italian pizzelle recipe for decades, here is what I learned:
- as soon as the they come out of the pizzelle maker, lay flat (you can use a cooling rack);
- do not stack them as the steam will cause them to lose their crispiness;
- once all the pizzelle are done, allow them to air dry overnight.
I will usually spread them out on the dining room table in small stacks of 3-4 and place a strip of wax paper loosely over the top. The following morning, I store them.
HOW TO STORE PIZZELLE:
Here are some suggestions to store these delicate treats, in order to keep them nice and crisp:
- wrap in aluminum foil, at room temperature;
- place in cookie or coffee tins;
- place in paper bags.
Pizzelle stored in this manner will keep well for a few weeks. Whatever you do, do not place them in plastic or airtight containers (like Tupperware) as the will get soft.
Have you ever noticed that with time, the anise flavor intensifies in pizzelle? That’s why they are such a great cookie to start your holiday baking with.
ORIGINS OF THE RECIPE FOR CLASSIC PIZZELLE:
In my nonna’s Italian dialect, these simple cookies were referred to as “ferratelle”. My dad’s mother was born in Ripabottoni, in the province of Campobasso, in the Italian region of Molise. I have so many fond memories of my mom and my grandmother making these special treats, especially at Christmas.
I can remember eating pizzelle faster than they could make them. Back then, my mom and grandmother would make the “ferratelle” one at a time, with a stove top press with long handles. In fact, I still have it and it is pictured above.
Imagine the afternoons spent making pizzelle when the basic recipe called for one dozen eggs…a dozen!!!
The cookies were made religiously every two weeks and they were stored in a bread box which was placed in the pantry. No bread in that box – only pizzelle. There were probably near a hundred of them, all stacked up, ready to be eaten as an after school snack or placed on the table when family and friends came over.
When my grandmother passed away, we found a small notebook which had some recipes written in it. It is remarkable to me that a woman, born in 1908, in a small village, in the middle of nowhere, learned to read and write. This little booklet symbolizes so much more than recipes.
This is truly priceless.
I have scaled down the original recipe, but if required, it can easily be doubled…or quadrupled and stored in your bread box 🙂
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Pizzelle recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Pizzelle della Nonna
Delicate. Thin. Crispy. Wafer like. This is how I would describe this classic, authentic, Italian cookie: Pizzelle della Nonna. This recipe for pizzelle is an easy, simple, no butter recipe, that can simply be flavored with vanilla or anise. Did you know you can also make chocolate pizzelles?
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour 177 grams
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar 100 grams
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon anise extract optional
- Preheat pizzelle iron.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until frothy and beginning to thicken (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add sugar. Continue to whisk until well thickened.
- Add the oil and extracts. Mix well together.
- Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined, dough will be soft and sticky.
- Drop 1 tablespoon of batter on hot pizzelle press.
- Close lid and cook 30 - 45 seconds or until slightly golden.
- Remove from press with the help of a fork.
- Transfer to flat surface or mold into desired shape.
Special Equipment needed to make this recipe is a pizzelle iron.
To make chocolate pizzelle use 1 cup all purpose flour sifted with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I do not use the anise flavor-only vanilla).
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.
NEVER MISS A POST FROM SHE LOVES BISCOTTI!
JOIN US ON:
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS PIZZELLE RECIPE, SAVE IT FOR LATER.
PIN IT TO YOUR ITALIAN COOKIE BOARD!
Follow She Loves Biscotti for more simple and family friendly recipes!