Recipe: Vanilla Pizzelles

pizzelles-3These delicate, buttery, waffle-like Italian cookies are one of my favorite Christmas traditions. To bake the batter, you’ll need an electric pizzelle iron (available in many kitchen stores), which will imprint the cookies with a beautiful pattern. I’ve found that the polished plate models (as opposed to those with a nonstick coating) bake the thinnest, most crisp cookies. For an especially light texture, my family uses cake flour in the batter. Enjoy pizzelles on their own with your favorite warm beverage or a bowl of ice cream, or shape them into cones and fill with whipped cream, chocolate mousse, or sweetened ricotta!

Yield: 30, 5-inch pizzelles


3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder


1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until thick. Add cooled melted butter and vanilla and whisk to combine. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. (You can also use a hand mixer.)

2. Preheat and grease an electric pizzelle iron according to your manufacturer’s directions. Drop batter onto iron and bake until steam subsides and cookies are a light golden color (this takes around 30 seconds on my iron using heaping teaspoonfuls of batter; models will vary). Remove cookies from iron and lay flat on a wire rack for round pizzelles, or immediately wrap around a cone mold. Pizzelles will crisp as they cool. If desired, use a pair of kitchen shears to trim any uneven edges from the cooled cookies.

3. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If pizzelles lose their crispness after storing, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 to 2 minutes to refresh.