Italian Anise Pizzelles are a delightful waffle cookie that is not super sweet.
For our family, Christmas means cookies both to eat and to give as gifts. That is if I can keep my crew from eating them all before I can make gift tins.
Pizzelles are also known as waffle cookies, because they are made on a pizzelle iron that looks similar to a waffle iron. The design on the pizzelle iron makes these cookies look very delicate and ornate.
Pizzelles can vary in texture from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy. The difference is in how much flour is added and how long the pizzelles are cooked. I prefer them crisp and crunchy, but my husband prefers soft and chewy so after I make a few for me I add more flour.
These cookies can be made using a variety of flavorings but our family recipe uses anise. The anise in these is not overpowering. It adds a pleasant flavor to the cookies.
My mother-in-law has passed down her recipe for Italian anise pizzelles to me, but I must say it makes enough to feed a small army (or my husband for three days). Her pizzelle recipe makes about 12 dozen waffles.
While that might be too many for most families it is not enough for ours. We have to make twice that much for eating and gift giving. Making that many cookies is very time consuming so it only happens once a year.
My husband decided that since our daughter is a teenager now and has an interest in baking that the two of them would take over the annual pizzelle making. It saves me the effort, and it’s only fair since they are the ones that eat most of them.
It is a good bonding time for them to sit there for hours making that many waffles. I try to be patient while they take over the kitchen and do their project. It’s difficult sometimes to not jump in and give them extra instruction, but I do my best.
After about twenty minutes of them baking I looked over and there were barely any waffles cooling on the racks. They were eating the pizzelles as soon as they came off of the iron.
You can make enough pizzelles for an army or you can follow my pared down recipe which makes a more reasonable amount of waffles. You will have to purchase a pizzelle iron. They are easy to find online.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp anise extract
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Melt the butter and let it cool.
- Add the salt to the flour in a separate bowl.
- Preheat the pizzelle iron.
- Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and anise together until well blended.
- Slowly add the flour mixture.
- Bake on a pizzelle iron one tablespoon at a time until light brown.
- Place cookies on a wire rack and cool completely before storing.
The batter will be sticky. You might want to try baking a couple of cookies before you add any extra flour. The amount of flour will effect the texture of the cookies. Once steam stops coming out of the iron, check the cookies to see if they are the desired color.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g