Italian Pizzelle Cookie Recipe

This Italian Pizzelle Cookie Recipe is made with just 7 ingredients. Lightly flavored with vanilla and almond extracts, these classic cookies are thin, crispy, and sweet. Perfect with a good cup of espresso or tea.

A stack of pizzelle cookies

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Pizzelle cookies are a classic Italian recipe and though they have an elegant appearance, they’re surprisingly easy to make! These are best made with a pizzelle press, which is similar to a waffle maker but with a different pattern and much thinner end product.

One thing I love about these cookies is that they’re made with pantry staples – think eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, flour – so you can whip them up pretty much any time. I’ve also included instructions for how to make pizzelle without a pizzelle press.

That said, a pizzelle maker is great to have and really the best method for these cookies.

Here’s an important tip – don’t buy a pizzelle press during the holidays because prices will be higher than usual. Plan ahead and get one in the early fall or wait until after the holidays to get a better price.

Overhead view of pizzelle cookie ingredients

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Eggs – Helps give the cookies shape and holds everything together.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Extracts – Vanilla and almond extracts give these Italian pizzelle cookies their classic flavor.
  • All-purpose flour – Be sure to measure properly to avoid a too-thick batter.
  • Salt – Helps to balance out the sweet flavors.
  • Cooking spray – To coat the pizzelle press. You can also use extra vegetable oil.
  • Confectioners sugar – An optional garnish for dusting the finished cookie.

How to Make Pizzelle

To make this Italian pizzelle cookie recipe, begin by beating the eggs together. Add in the oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract until well blended.

Place a sieve over the top of the bowl then sift the flour and salt into the egg mixture below.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to thicken.

Spray the pizzelle press with cooking spray. You can also dampen a paper towel with oil and use that to grease the pan. Just be sure to get into all of the grooves.

Heat the pizzelle press. Once preheated, add 2-3 teaspoons (this pic has way to much but I forgot to reshoot… sorry) of the batter to the center of each pizzelle shape in the press. Close the lid and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, until they just start to turn golden brown along the edges or in the thinner center parts.

Carefully remove the pizzelle cookies with a flat spatula. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter. You don’t need to add more oil to the press until the cookies begin to stick.

Pizzelle cookies on a cooling rack, one wrapped around a rod

How to Make Pizzelle Without the Pizzelle Iron

If you don’t need a fancy design, you can also make pizzelle cookies in the oven, flipping them halfway through to ensure both sides get crispy.

To do this, place the cookie dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use either a grill press (yes, a cast iron burger press) or a large flat dish with a flat bottom that is wide enough to press the dough evenly without it sneaking out the edges of the bowl.

Both options will flatten the dough thin enough to bake and get the crispy cookie minus the fancy design.

Let the cookies bake at 350°F for 5 to 8 minutes, until the bottom just starts to turn golden brown. Carefully flip and continue to bake until the cookie is crispy on both sides.

A plate of pizzelle cookies, one on a plate with a cup of tea, and another in cannoli dip

Making Cannoli Shells with Pizzelle

Do you love cannoli but don’t want to buy or make cannoli shells? These pizzelle cookies can do the trick!

Once you have removed the pizzelle from the press carefully wrap the hot cookie around a stick that is about the size you would your shell to be. I used a cocktail muddler to form my shells but they make a rather large cannoli. Not necessarily a bad thing!

The pizzelle needs to be relatively warm to do this or they will break when you try and wrap them. To avoid burning my hands I use a tea towel to help me hold the wrapped cookie in place until it cools.

Once the cookie has cooled you can remove the round item used to form from the cookie and you are all set to fill them as you wish!

Flavor Variations

I love the combination of vanilla and almond extract for this pizzelle cookie recipe but there are some other flavor options:

  • Use all vanilla or all almond extract
  • Add anise extract, with or without the vanilla
  • Lemon extract, again with or without the vanilla
Overhead view of pizzelle cookies, one on a plate, others on a cooling rack

FAQs

What does pizzelle mean?

Pizzelle comes from two Italian words, “pizze” which means “round” or “flat”, and “elle”, meaning “small”. Put together, pizzelle means round or flat and small – exactly what these cookies are!

How to pronounce pizzelle?

Pizzelle is pronounced as “pi-zel”.

Why are my pizzelle soft?

Two things can cause pizzelle cookies to be soft – not cooking them long enough and moisture. Though they cook very quickly, you do want to be sure that you’re cooking them until they begin to brown. Second, make sure to allow them to cool before transferring them to any type of container.

How to keep pizzelle crisp?

To keep your pizzelle crisp, keep them away from moisture. This means allowing them to cool before transferring them to an airtight container and storing them properly.

Overhead view of pizzelle on a blue plate

How to Store Pizzelle Cookies

Italian pizzelle cookies should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. As noted above, it’s important that they cool completely first so that moisture does not get trapped in the container to make them soft.

Do not refrigerate your cookies, as this can also create condensation.

pizzelle cookie recipe on a plate with a coffee and more nearby.

Can You Freeze Pizzelle?

Yes! Italian pizzelle cookies can be frozen. Once they have cooled completely, flash freeze on a baking sheet then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months then thaw on the counter.

Note that they will not be as crisp as when they were originally baked. You can pop them in the oven for a few minutes to try to regain some of the crispness.

More Cookie Recipes To Try

A stack of pizzelle cookies

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
This Italian Pizzelle Cookie Recipe is made with just 7 ingredients. Lightly flavored with vanilla and almond extracts, these classic cookies are thin, crispy, and sweet.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 3 eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cooking spray or extra vegetable oil to coat press
  • Optional: Confectioners sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl beat the eggs together.
  • Then add the vegetable oil and sugar, vanilla and almond extract and continue to whisk until well blended.
  • Place a large sieve over top of the mixing bowl and add the flour and salt. Stir the flour through the sieve into the egg mixture below.
  • Remove the sieve from the bowl. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to allow it to thicken.
  • Spray the cool pizzelle press with cooking spray or dampen a paper towel with vegetable oil and use this to grease the pan getting into the grooves.
  • Heat the pizzelle press and when ready add 2 -3 teaspoons of the pizzelle batter to the center of each pizzelle shape in the press. Close the lid and let cook for 60 to 90 seconds or until they just start to turn golden brown along the edges or in the thinner center parts.
  • Remove carefully with a flat spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Continue to add batter to the press until the remaining cookie dough is used. No need to oil the press further unless it begins to stick.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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