Pizzelle Cookie Recipe — My Tips

Pizzelle Cookie Recipe — My Tips

I am the third and final child in our family. Yes, I am the baby.  And, not only am I the baby of my family, but my two sisters are 10 and 7 years older than me.  As a result, my nickname has always been “the dessert”.

“The dessert” is a fitting nickname my mom gave me as, since I came out of the womb, it has been my job in the family to create all the sweet items in the kitchen. (First, I learned how to perfectly dust the powder sugar over the pistachio cake. Then I graduated to the icing over the Christmas baked goods. And then I mastered the MacEachen family secret M&M cookie recipe.)

Usually you like to bake or you don’t. Well, I never really had that option because, if I wanted to be in the kitchen, I needed to be in charge of the baking. I remember making my first galette before I knew the proper terminology.

One of the best recipes I conquered for my Mom was Aunt Edie’s Pizzelle recipe. Pizzelle are an Italian pressed cookie that are traditionally flavored with anise, but our family uses orange zest. My Aunt Cathy gave me my beloved pizzelle press many years ago and I still carry it with me today (quite literally – check out the quick video below). Sadly though, the Pizzelle machine is a “one trick wonder”, but I sincerely use mine every week. The Pizzelle machine can be easily found in kitchen supply stores like William Sonoma and Sur La Table – often they offer a variety of patterns.

Here I am going to share with you my family’s Pizzelle recipe, and offer you a few tips to make your experience easy.

First, the Pizzelle Recipe – be sure to check out how easy it is to make.

Pizzelle Tips and Tricks:

  • Simple Equipment. For this Pizzelle recipe you just need a Pizzelle machine, fork, bowl, butter knife, and 2 spoons. Don’t worry about getting out your electric mixer and keep your stand mixer in the closet. This recipe is simple.
  • Flavor. Traditionally, the cookies are flavored with anise (which tastes like black licorice), but our family uses fresh orange zest instead. If you don’t have an orange on hand you can always substitute with a splash of orange juice. Almond extract and vanilla extract are delicious and simple additions. Or, if you really want to go crazy, you can add fresh herbs to your butter and melt it slowly in a saute pan and infuse the herbs into the butter. Strain the butter before adding it to the batter, and then continue the recipe. (Note by adding the herbs, you will easily add a lot of flavor, with minimal effort.)
  • Mold the Finished Product. When the cookies are finished cooking you can just rest of them on a towel or you can play with the shape of the cookies. While they are still hot you can mold them using your hands (if you can handle the heat) into cones for homemade ice cream cones. Or, press them into muffin tins, large or miniature. You can pretty much mold the pizzelle over any clean surface to create whatever shape you want.

Pizzelle cookies are now easily locatable in most grocery stores, but there is always something special about homemade cookies (plus I prefer my family’s recipe). The batter holds up wonderfully in the refrigerator and I like to keep a batch on hand to deliver them as thank you gifts or to people I know and love.

Quick and easy, I think that these cookies should be in everyone’s repertoire. And the pizzelle press makes for a great wedding present! (Make sure to attach the recipe too for an added gift!)

- Caitlin Steininger is a Partner at Cooking with Caitlin. She thinks of the world in terms of food.

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