The irony of posting a cookie recipe right after I told you I’ve decided to lose weight is not lost on me. But, it’s the holiday season and these are the only cookies I look forward to each year so I HAD to share this recipe.
What are Pizzelles?
If you grew up in an Italian American family, you probably know what Pizzelles are – they’re thin, crispy wafer-like cookies that sort of look like flat waffles. They’re usually either vanilla or anise flavored and if you grew up with these cookies you probably have a strong opinion on which flavor is “correct”.
Growing up, our pizzelles were always homemade and anise flavored; it never occurred to me that someone would make a different flavor so I was shocked to find out my in laws (who are also Italian American) make vanilla pizzelles! I still think anise is the best and only flavor, but if you disagree you can still use this recipe with a few swaps. 🙂
How do you make Pizzelles?
The most important thing to know about making pizzelles is that you need an iron. My great-grandfather had a monogrammed iron that you had to heat over the stove to make one cookie at a time. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way in kitchen gadgetry and can now make two cookies at a time with an electric iron. If I’m being honest though… it’d be pretty amazing to have a monogrammed iron.
The size of your iron will greatly affect your yield – my mom and I both have irons that make 5 inch cookies, and we get about 5 dozen out of a batch. If your iron makes larger cookies, then you’ll get less out of a batch. This is my iron; it makes thin, delicate cookies and still works great 6 years later.
Now on to the recipe. This recipe originally came from a family friend’s grandmother. She called for an entire ounce of anise oil, which is perfect… if you’re looking to burn through all of your senses. This is the first recipe I’ve ever called my own. I took grandmom McCormick’s recipe and tweaked it to perfection. It’s my go-to for cookie swaps and holiday parties because I can make dozens and dozens in one sitting and be ready for a party at a moment’s notice.
This year I decided to use gluten free flour so that I’d be able to have them, and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour worked perfectly. My mom said she liked them even BETTER than when we use regular AP flour, and she’s not the type to lie about these things. So, pull out an iron or grab one from Amazon, and be ready to impress your friends, family, and neighbors with the BEST pizzelle cookies ever.
The Best Pizzelle Cookies
- pizzelle iron
- 6 eggs
- 1 C melted butter or ghee
- 1 2/3 C organic cane sugar
- 2 1/2 C Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour, AP flour works just as well
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 5 tsp anise seeds
- 2 tsp anise oil, NOT extract
- 2 pinches salt
- Beat sugar and eggs until light and foamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- With the mixer on the lowest setting, add melted butter gradually.
- Add anise seeds and oil, stir to combine
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- With the mixer on the lowest setting, gradually add the flour mixture until it is completely incorporated.
- Follow the directions for your iron to make the cookies, laying them out on wax or parchment paper to cool completely before stacking them.
– omit anise oil and seeds
– add 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract and seeds from 2-3 vanilla beans (cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the dull side of a paring knife to scrape out the seeds) Links to my pizzelle iron and my favorite gluten free flour.