Pizzelle (Italian Christmas Cookies)

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Crisp, buttery pizzelle are quintessential Italian Christmas cookies. We've made them a bit more neutral with a splash of good quality vanilla, but you can always use the more traditional anise extract or seed if that's what you prefer. 

55 mins
55 mins
30 to 50 pizzelle, depending on size
Classic Pizzelle - select to zoom
Classic Pizzelle - select to zoom
Classic Pizzelle - select to zoom
Classic Pizzelle - select to zoom


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  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined.

  2. Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.

  3. Add the melted butter, again mixing until smooth; the batter will be thick and soft.

  4. Heat your pizzelle iron. Grease it as directed in the manufacturer's instructions. As the iron heats, the batter will stiffen.

  5. Cook the pizzelle according to the instructions that came with your iron. In general, they'll take between 45 seconds and 2 1/2 minutes to brown.

  6. Remove the pizzelle from the iron, and cool on a rack. If desired, use a pair of scissors to trim any ragged edges.

  7. Dust cooled pizzelle with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

  8. Pizelle are best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container, or frozen for up to a 1 month.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Flavor to taste: Classic pizzelle and other Italian Christmas cookies are often flavored with anise extract or anise seed. Butter-rum, lemon, or rum flavors are also delicious. Simply add extract to the batter to taste. Start with 1/4 teaspoon; amounts will vary a lot, depending on the strength of the extract you choose.

  • One reader suggests the best way to grease your pizzelle iron is to dip a towel in vegetable oil, and wipe it all over the iron's interior plates. This helps avoid the sticky residue you may get from spraying the iron with non-stick spray.