This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. As always, all opinions are mine alone.
This Authentic Italian Pizzelle Recipe for the classic Italian cookie includes anise extract and anise seeds for a truly traditional pizzelle flavor with a crunchy texture.
Pizzelles are a classic italian cookie that are traditionally served at weddings and other celebrations. My husband’s aunt and uncle visit family in Italy often and she introduced me to these deliciously crunchy, anise flavored pizzelles last Christmas. I immediately fell in love with them and knew I needed to share them this year! Dusted with powdered sugar or undusted, either way these are delicious, classic cookies with a unique flavor and texture!
This authentic Italian pizzelle recipe is my second contribution to this year’s Christmas Cookies Week. It’s a week where a bunch of us food blogger friends are sharing some of our favorite cookie ideas for the holidays and you can see what everybody else posted today by scrolling to the bottom of this post. Be sure to go enter our giveaway at the bottom of my welcome post!
Yes, Italian pizzelle require a special pizzelle maker to make them, but they are inexpensive and easy to find on Amazon and almost any baking or home store like Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma. They are kind of like a waffle iron that presses a very soft dough into a thin, almost wafer-like cookie that you can actually shape into other forms.
The hot pizzelles are really malleable right when they are removed from the iron grid or design of the pizzelle maker but that doesn’t last long. You can wrap the hot pizzelle around cannoli tubes, make cones, or drape them over bowls to get different shapes for different desserts, if you wanted. Or just lay them flat like traditional pizzelles and dust them with powdered sugar.
I haven’t tried making cannoli with these yet, but we have definitely done fresh pizzelle bowls for cookie & movie night and filled them with ice cream.
And while I’m not Italian, this pizzelle recipe is as close to an authentic Italian pizzelle recipe as I have found, using anise extract and anise seed to achieve a lightly licorice flavor that I LOVE, even though I’m not a fan of licorice to begin with! If you don’t love anise though, I’ve included some pizzelle recipe variations below.
How to Make this Authentic Italian Pizzelle Recipe
- Start by whisking eggs using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or just by hand with a whisk until thick and frothy – about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Whisk in the sugar, followed by the melted butter and vanilla and anise extracts.
- Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, anise seeds (if using) and salt over the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until combined and you’ve got a soft, sticky dough that is almost a batter.
- Now the fun part happens! Scoop one tablespoon of dough onto the middle of each pizzelle design. Most pizzelle makers can only make two pizzelles at a time, but the good news is that they cook really fast – about 45 seconds per batch.
It is easy to change up this authentic Italian pizzelle recipe to make some not so authentic but still delicious flavors just by changing the anise extract and anise seeds for a different flavor extract like vanilla, maple, almond, rum, etc. But here are some other classic pizzelle variations you might want to try:
- Vanilla pizzelles: Substitute the anise extract with vanilla extract for a total of 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
- Lemon pizzelles: Substitute the anise extract with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest.
- Chocolate pizzelles: Replace the anise extract with vanilla extract for a total of 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar and replace 1/3 cup of the flour with cocoa powder.
- Lemon-lime pizzelles: Substitute the anise extract with 1 teaspoon each of lemon and lime juices and add 1 tablespoons each of grated lemon and lime zest.
- Orange pizzelles: Substitute the anise extract with 2 tablespoons of orange juice and add 2 tablespoons of grated orange zest.
- Half-and-half chocolate vanilla pizzelles: Make one batch of vanilla pizzelle batter and one batch of chocolate pizzelle batter (or any other flavor combinations) and drop spoonfuls of both onto the pizzelle maker at the same time right beside each other to get a half-and-half pizzelle.
- Ice cream bowl pizzelles: Immediately drape a hot pizzelle over a small bowl and use oven-mitted hands to press the sides around the bowl for a few seconds until the pizzelle cools and sets hard enough to hold it’s shape. When completely cool, use as dessert or ice cream bowls.
Tips for the Best Italian Pizzelles
- Be careful not to overfill your pizzelle maker. One tablespoon of pizzelle dough/batter may not seem like much, but it spreads a lot.
- Lay the cooked pizzelles flat on a wire cooling rack as soon as the they come out of the pizzelle maker or mold into the form you desire.
- Don’t stack hot pizzelles. The heat and steam will make the pizzelles lose their crispiness.
More Delicious International Desserts You Need to Try!
- Greek Baklava
- French Fruit Tart
- Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes)
- Apfelstrudel (German Apple Strudel)
- Belgian Liege Waffles
- Sticky Toffee Pudding (Great Britain)
- Thai Coconut Mango Sticky Rice
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 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.
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#ChristmasCookiesWeek Tuesday Recipes
- Chocolate Cherry Totos by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Chocolate Dipped Fluffernutter Cookies by Cooking With Carlee
- Christmas Tree Whoopie Pies by The Freshman Cook
- Cranberry Kit-Kat Cookies by Palatable Pastime
- Delicious Cookies by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
- Gingernuts by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
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- Honey Sugar Cookies by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Iced Cutout Cookies by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Peppermint Snowball Cookies by Family Around the Table
- Soft Gingerbread Cut Out Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes
- The Best Soft Sugar Cookies by The Saucy Fig
- White Christmas Kiss Cookies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- White Christmas Peppermint Holiday Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.
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