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Pizelle - the perfect sweet treat

My family had never made pizelle as I was growing up.  In fact, I never even had one until I started being close friends with Mary.  Her mother, Helen,  made them all the time.  They are a light, anise flavored Italian cookie.  Helen used to keep them on hand most of the time, stored in a large tin in a low cupboard in her kitchen,

There are many recipes for pizelle on the Internet.  I use one that makes them turn out more crispy, vs more cakey, but all are delicious.

The main thing to know before attempting to make pizelle is that you absolutely need a  pizelle iron.  I have a new non-stick one but Helen, and also David, with whom I made made batches for last month for the Miscowaubik Italian party, have old, well seasoned metal irons.  All work fine.  You just need to play with yours to see how long you need to cook the pizelle, and each batch of dough is a bit different it seems.  The last time I made a batch a few weeks ago, mine were done at exactly 23 seconds.

In place of the traditional anise, you can also substitute vanilla extract or almond extract.   I found this recipe on


  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  • 1 T anise extract
  •  1 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and anise extract. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.
  2. Heat the pizzelle iron, and brush with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20 to 45 seconds, or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron and place in a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Variation:  For chocolate pizzelle, add 1/4 cup cocoa sifted together with flour and baking powder, 1/4 cup more sugar and 1/4 teaspoon more baking powder.

Pizelle are perfect for a light dessert anytime