Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Rose's Pizzelle

In most Italian and Italian-American households, pizzelle are always present at Christmas time. My mother made them not only on holidays, but periodically through the year. She died in 1986, but I will never forget the stacks of pizzelle she used to churn out when I was growing up. The vision of my mother seated at a table pressing her pizzelle iron closed, with the scent of anise that wafted through the house, lingers in my memory decades later.
My father remarried a few years after my mother's death, and his wife Rose also made dozens of pizzelle at Christmas. She hasn't made them in a few years, but I have to say, I am partial to her recipe, which uses anise seed instead of anise oil. I made them recently for a family reunion, and they disappeared quicker than melting snow, even though some of them were almost burnt. 

So I decided I had to make them again yesterday, and this time, they were all a uniform shade of beige. Truth be told, the first batch were on the dark side because I didn't think they were crispy enough, so after they cooled, I placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. That was too long, and too hot. If yours aren't as crispy as you'd like, I recommend putting them on a wire rack on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes, but keep the oven at a low temperature of 200 degrees. 
The batter should be sticky and kind of thick. You may not need all the flour called for in the recipe.  I used a little less than 3 cups of flour this time, even though the recipe says to use 3 1/4 cups. A lot depends on the size of your eggs, and the humidity on the day you make them. It all gets blended with a wooden spoon. You don't need a mixer.
 I spray my pizzelle iron with "PAM" for the first batch, but after that, it doesn't need any more greasing.They come off easily using a tweezer or other kitchen utensil. I have my timer ready, and remove them after about 45 seconds, then place them on a wire rack. Keep in mind they're very pliable when they're hot, so make sure they lie flat to cool. You could also wrap them around a cannoli form when they're hot, if you want to make a tubular cookie. After they've cooled, if they're not as crisp as I'd like, I put them in the oven for a short while as mentioned above.

They keep for a very long time in an airtight tin, and make delicious gifts to friends, family and teachers too.

For something even more special, dip the edges in some melted chocolate, then pour some colorful sprinkles over the chocolate. 

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Rose's Pizzelle

printable recipe here


6 eggs

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 lb. butter, melted

3 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds

Beat eggs with a whisk, add the sugar and slowly add the melted butter.
Add the flour and anise seeds using either a mixer or a wooden spoon.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the pizzelle iron and bake according to the instructions with your iron.
It may take one minute, or more, or less, depending on your iron.
Remove with a fork, or kitchen tweezers and let cool on a flat surface.
Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.


  1. I’m curious, are the Anise seeds small ? And do they melt or do you feel them like a nut when eating?

    1. The anise seeds are very small. They don't melt but you don't feel like when eating except for a tiny crunch.

  2. I don’t actually like anise. Would you just leave it out, or is there something else that could be substituted?

    1. If you don't like anise, a good substitute is vanilla. Try adding a tablespoonful.