Pizzelles are a thin, sweet Italian wafer cookie that is especially popular around Christmas time. This homemade pizzelle recipe is classic, delicious, and fun to make!
If you have never tried a pizzelle, imagine a very thin, crisp waffle. This is almost exactly what a pizzelle is like! However, pizzelles are a little bit sweeter than waffles. They are cookies, after all! And, they’re an especially irresistible cookie that I think you will adore.
Oh, and if you’ve always wanted to make pizzelles but didn’t want to invest in a pizzelle maker that you’d use once a year, you’re in luck! There’s now a Dash pizzelle maker that you can find at Williams-Sonoma and other specialty cooking stores and it retails for $12.95 at the time of this writing. Now there’s no excuse to not make pizzelles for Christmas!
Authentic Pizzelle Recipe
To make authentic pizzelles at home, you do need a pizzelle maker. They look like a skinny waffle iron and they work much the same. Most pizzelle makers these days are electric and can simply be plugged in. However, classic versions are a basic cast iron press that is heated over a gas stove flame. Whether you bake these cookies using a traditional cast iron press or use a more modern approach, they are sure to be delicious!
This delicate, vanilla flavored cookie will surely become a holiday tradition in your home, right alongside sugar cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, and classic spritz cookies!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Melted butter – While I typically use unsalted butter when I bake, you can use salted butter for this recipe since there is no other additional salt.
- Eggs – Here’s the best way to crack an egg!
- Egg yolks – Added egg yolks make the cookies have a richer taste.
- Vanilla extract – Always try to use real vanilla extract when baking. It has a much better flavor than imitation vanilla and you will be able to clearly tell the difference!
- Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar is used to dust the cookies after they bake. It gives them a snowy look and a little bit of extra sweetness.
How to Make Pizzelles
- Prepare: Plug in your pizzelle maker or put it over low heat on your stovetop. Spray the iron with a little cooking spray to help prevent the batter from sticking.
- Make the batter: Whisk the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter, eggs, yolks, and vanilla and whisk to make a smooth batter.
- Bake: Pour about two tablespoons of batter into your preheated pizzelle maker. Close the top and cook until the cookie is completely golden brown. This only takes about 45 seconds to one minute—they cook quickly!
- Cool the cookies: Remove the cookies from the iron and let them cool on a wire rack. Once cool, dust the cookies with some powdered sugar and enjoy!
These cook quickly, but baking the whole batch of batter can take a while since you have to make each cookie individually. Grab a cup of cocoa and a good book so you can relax!
How to Store Pizzelles
Pizzelles will keep for about two weeks when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Since they are already a crispy cookie, they will last a little bit longer than a thicker, chewy cookie; they keep that crunch for quite a while which makes them a perfect make-ahead Christmas cookie. Just be sure to keep them in a sealed container!
Pizzelles were originally a subtle anise flavor, which is similar to licorice. However, now they’re usually flavored with just vanilla extract. If you want to try anise flavor, simply replace the vanilla extract in this recipe with 1 teaspoon of anise extract.
Some pizzelle makers do not make the cookies as crispy as you may like. If this happens, simply place them on a baking sheet and put them in a 200ºF oven for about 10 minutes. This will help make them nice and crispy.
Yes. I like to oil the pizzelle iron because there are so many small crevices where batter can potentially get stuck. I spray my pizzelle iron with just a little cooking spray and this helps get a beautiful pattern on my cookies and they never get stuck.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
Christmas M&M Cookies
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Classic Spritz Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- Lightly spray your pizzelle iron with cooking spray and plug it in to preheat.
- Add the flour, sugar and baking powder to a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
- Whisk in the butter, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract until the batter is smooth and thick.
- Pour two tablespoons of batter into the hot pizzelle maker. Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter across the pizzelle iron.
- Close the pizzelle maker and cook the pizzelle for about 45 seconds. The pizzelle should be a light golden brown and easily lift from the hot plates.
- Remove the pizzelle by grabbing it with tongs.
- Place the pizzelle cookies on a cooling rack while you cook all of the batter.
- Use a sifter to dust the cookies with the powdered sugar.
- You can also use a cast iron pizzelle cookie press rather than an electric pizzelle maker. Follow the directions that come with your iron to heat and cook the pizzelles over a gas stovetop.
- Use anise extract in place of vanilla extract for a classic flavor twist on these cookies.
- Use only one tablespoon of pizzelle batter to make thinner, crisper cookies.
- Invest in a double pizzelle maker so you can cook two pizzelles at once!