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Italian Pizzelle Cookies: Creative Dessert Recipes

What Do You Know About PIZZELLES?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What country did the Pizzelle originate?
    • Spain
    • Greece
    • Italy
  2. The first Pizzelle makers were made of:
    • Iron
    • Plastic
    • Glass
  3. Pizzelle irons are:
    • Electrically heated.
    • Manually held over heat.
    • Both electrical and manual.
  4. Legend has it that originally, blacksmiths forged the irons by using:
    • Horse shoes.
    • Railroad nails and pieces of track.
    • Hub caps :)
  5. What is the most common Pizzelle flavor?
    • Lemon
    • Anise
    • Vanilla
  6. Pizzelle irons are commonly decorated with:
    • Geometric patterns.
    • Family crests, initials, or names.
    • Any of the above.
  7. It is believed that Pizzelle's were first made for what occasion?
    • The feast of Beato Roberto, a twelfth-century monk.
    • Festival of the Snakes; driving out of the snakes to prevent them from overtaking the town.
    • Both occasions above.

Answer Key

  1. Italy
  2. Iron
  3. Both electrical and manual.
  4. Railroad nails and pieces of track.
  5. Anise
  6. Any of the above.
  7. Both occasions above.

History of the Pizzelle

A Pizzelle is an Italian wafer-like treat that appears to at least date back to the twelfth century and is thought to be the oldest known cookie.

It is believed that Pizzelles originated in the Abruzzo region of Italy where blacksmiths used railroad nails and pieces of track to construct the metal irons used to bake the Pizzelles over an open fire. The irons had very long handles to avoid the user being burned. Many of the irons included an imprint of a family crest or a design that gave a hint about the village where it was created.

A dollop of dough would be closed in between two iron plates and baked over a fire. The original ingredients have not changed much over the years although today there are many creative things to do with Pizzelles other than serving a simple, flat cookie.

The traditional flavor of a Pizzelle is anise which gives the cookies a subtle licorice flavor, but you do not have to use it of course. There are many fun options as you will see below.

Nowadays, you can purchase electric Pizzelle Irons (or Pizzelle Bakers) that are much easier and quicker to use than so many years ago. The cookies can be hard and crispy or soft and chewy depending on the method of preparation and ingredients used. Pizzelles remain extremely popular, especially in countries with large Italian populations including the U.S.A.

Pizzelles can notoriously be found in areas with large Italian populations such as:

C. Palmer Manufacturing Co. was the first U.S. company to make electric Pizzelle Irons.

My Family's Traditional Pizzelle Recipe

Pizzelles have been made in my family for as long as I can remember. I can still picture my mom sitting at the kitchen table trying to make and stack them faster than her kids could eat them. They were a staple at every holiday and family gathering. Here is the recipe that we continue to use today.

Original recipe cut in half if desired:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon anise flavoring

Pizzelle Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 2 teaspoons anise flavoring

What do you think of the Traditional Pizzelle Recipe?

Pizzelle Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until blended.
  2. Add melted butter, vanilla and anise.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together. Slowly blend into the egg mixture.
  4. And last, blend in the sugar. If your dough is dry or too sticky, add a few drops of water at a time. If the dough is too soft, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. It will take a little practice to determine the best dough texture so that it isn’t too dry and yet not too loose either.
  5. Heat Pizzelle Iron. Drop one tablespoon dough onto the iron and close the lid tightly. Open and check after 30 seconds. The cookie should be a light golden color. Bake for another 15 seconds if necessary. The exact timing will depend on your iron. Note: For a thicker, softer cookie, use more dough and do not close the iron as tight.
  6. If you are leaving the Pizzelle cookie flat, simply cool on a cooling rack and stack. If you are shaping the cookie into a roll, bowl or cone, you must do so immediately after removing it from the iron.
  7. Once you experiment, making Pizzelles will become fun and easy.
  8. This recipe makes approximately 125-150 cookies depending on the thickness and width you choose.

Shaping Your Pizzelles

Pizzelles do not have to remain a flat cookie. When fresh off the iron, you can shape the Pizzelle into:

  • Cones for ice cream type treats; roll on an angle or use a Pizzelle cone roller.
  • Mini-baskets/bowls to hold things like fruit, candy, ice cream or puddings; place the warm cookie over the bottom of a drinking glass and shape into a bowl.
  • Cylinders/rolls to be filled with ice cream and creamy type mixtures; simply roll into a tube shape.
  • Taco shapes to be filled with any kind of treat you can think of; just briefly hold warm pizzelle in a taco shape until it sets.

Have fun and experiment with the cookie shapes.

Scroll to Continue

Variations for Pizzelle Flavor, Color and Texture


Many people do not like the taste of anise and therefore, there are many other options to use for flavoring. You may have to adjust the flour depending on how much more liquid you use.

  • Add a liqueur such as Amaretto or Rum.
  • Add a flavored extract such as: almond, lemon, strawberry, orange, peppermint, etc.
  • Add zest from an orange or lemon.


You, of course, can leave the color of the dough alone. Although, there are some fun options:

  • A favorite is adding cocoa powder to make the Pizzelles brown in color and chocolate in flavor. Use 1/2 cup cocoa for the traditional recipe above and 1/4 cup cocoa for the recipe split in half.
  • You can add drops of food coloring to change the color. For example, you could make red and green Pizzelle’s for the Christmas holiday.
  • Another option when using food coloring ~ instead of mixing it thoroughly into the dough, you could slightly cut it in and your Pizzelles will have a “swirl” effect.


You can change the texture and taste by adding to the dough for example:

  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Ground nuts

Pizzelles can be rolled and stuffed, similar to an Italian Cannoli.

Cannoli Cream Filled Pizzelles (rolled)

Rolled Pizzelles can easily be stuffed using a pastry bag or a plastic baggie with a corner tip cut off.

Cannoli Cream Filling

  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 ounces mini chocolate morsels
  • Chopped pecans (if desired)

Blend first three ingredients together. Fold in chocolate morsels. Fill pastry bag and stuff rolled Pizzelles. Dip both ends in chopped pecans if desired. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Mint Chocolate Pizzelle Treats (flat)

Make Pizzelles as instructed above with the addition of cocoa powder.

Do not shape cookies, leave flat.

Mint Chocolate Filling

  • 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract flavoring

Place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave on medium starting with two minutes until soft and melted. Stir in mint extract.

Lay Pizzelle flat and place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of each cookie. Create a sandwich by evenly pressing another cookie on top.


New Pizzelle Makers

Pizzelle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Any pizzelle shape will work for a delicious ice cream dessert.

  • Fill a pizzelle bowl/dish with ice cream.
  • Fill a pizzelle cone with ice cream.
  • Crumble a pizzelle cookie on top of a bowl of ice cream.

For ice cream sandwiches, soften ice cream enough so it is easy to work with. Lay pizzelle cookie flat and spread desired amount of ice cream evenly. Place another cookie on top to make a sandwich. Gently roll the ends in coconut, chopped nuts or candies to help hold the ice cream. Place in the freezer to set.


Just a Few More Pizzelle Tips to Leave You With

  • Did you know that many grocery stores sell Pizzelles? If you are short on time, you could buy the cookies and then create your own dessert.
  • Another quick option is to partially dip pizzelle cookies in melted chocolate (and chopped nuts if desired) to create a simple yet elegant display.
  • If your Pizzelles are sticking to the iron, lightly coat the iron with cooking spray.
  • Pizzelles are best stored in a tin or airtight container. If Pizzelles get moist, they can be briefly warmed in an oven to evaporate excess moisture.
  • You do not have to be Italian to enjoy the wonderful tradition of fresh-baked Italian Pizzelles. The Pizzelle-loving side of my family is Polish and Ukranian!


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Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on December 18, 2013:

Hi Gina ~ OMG, thank you for catching that. It's baking powder. I fixed it, thanks again! Have a wonderful holiday season!


Gina on December 13, 2013:

The ingredients list baking powder but in the directions it's mentions soda. Which is it? Thanks!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on December 05, 2013:

Hi Paradise ~ what a sweet comment. I do like anise so I agree that it makes a difference. But for those that don't like it, there is always vanilla :) Thank you so much for stopping by!


Paradise7 from Upstate New York on December 04, 2013:

The picture caught me, so I had to read this hub. I've had these cookies and they are DELICIOUS!! So light, so tasty. I do think it's the anise that makes the difference. It was interesting to find out some history as well as the recipes. I could wish more recipe hubs had some history of the food included. Very good job!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on October 12, 2013:

Hi Crystal ~ well, I'll need your address, ha.

Hi Crafty ~ Pizzelles are quite simple to make. Thanks for the compliments.

I appreciate you both stopping by to read and comment. Have a great weekend!


CraftytotheCore on October 09, 2013:

What a beautiful cookie and a lovely Hub! Thank you for the recipe. I never knew how to make these.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on October 09, 2013:

Ooh, I want some now! I suggest you make and mail a batch to every person who comments on this hub ;) Voting up and sharing.

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on October 09, 2013:

Aww Vicki, thank you so much for the compliments!

Cousins, yes, of course, store bought Pizzelle's are pretty good. But as usual, they are a little better made in your own kitchen. I hope you try them!

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on October 09, 2013:

I've seen pizelles in the store and wondered how they would taste. I don't have the equipment to make them but I think I will buy some next time and take your suggestion to dip them in chocolate and nuts. Yum.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on October 09, 2013:

Wow, these do look creative! Tasty! Beautiful hub, as always, too, Sharyn!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on May 04, 2013:

Hello FPDG ~ I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this article. I bet your grandmother made the best pizzelles. The love that had to go into them being made one by one on the stove is incredible. Thanks so much for your feedback.


Fpdg on May 04, 2013:

Found your page after searching on the website for variations on pizzelle recipes. I've been making these for many years but enjoy trying different recipes. I enjoyed reading the history of the cookie. My grandmother was born in Chieti in the Abruzzi area of Italy. She made her pizzelles on her stove top , in old fashioned iron, one at a time!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on April 27, 2013:

Hi Kikalina ~ thank you so much for stopping by!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on April 25, 2013:

Hi vertualit ~ I hope you do try them. Thank you so much for stopping by.


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on April 25, 2013:

Hi Mary ~ I do see pizzelles in the store year round now. But homemade are much better. Get yourself a pizzelle maker! They are fun to bake and you can win some points with your MIL. I appreciate your feedback and votes.


kikalina from Europe on April 23, 2013:

Oh my.....strawberries are always so welcome. Interesting hub.

Abdus Salam from Bangladesh on April 22, 2013:

Excellent recipes. I will try at home :)

Mary Craig from New York on April 22, 2013:

Now I have to find a pizzelle maker! Thanks for all the background information as well as the great recipe. My elderly mother-in-law loves pizzelles but they only seem to be in stores at Christmas time.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on September 02, 2012:

Oh Yvonne ~ your daughter is right. You should get a Pizzelle iron and try making these. They are light and wonderful. Thanks for checking it out!


Yvonne Spence from UK on September 02, 2012:

I'd never heard of these before, but I think we'll be out looking for a pizzelle iron soon. My daughter is looking over my shoulder saying, "Oh, that looks tasty!"

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on August 27, 2012:

Hi Jennzie ~ great to meet you! Pizzelles are really yummy. I hope you try making them some time. They are fun to make too. Thanks for stopping by!


Jenn from Pennsylvania on August 27, 2012:

I've eaten these at an ice cream eatery, and they are so good! Thanks for this hub on how to make pizzelles at home.

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on August 24, 2012:

Hey Cyndi ~ you are not the only one who has not seen Pizzelle's before but it does kind of surprise me since I grew up eating them all the time and I'm not even Italian! They are really fun to make. So you were an ice cream scooper? Sounds like a fun job. Thanks so much for stopping by!


Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on August 24, 2012:

Yum! I haven't seen these before! I can't believe that, either, since it's like the oldest known cookie. LOL.

These look delicious! I'll have to try these sometime! MMM, and you talking about using them as ice cream cones makes me think back to my days as an Ice Cream Scooper. Hehe.

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 16, 2012:

Hey Kel ~ Your family will love these and they are great for the holidays. You can even color the dough red and green for Christmas. And the girls (and your nephew "the cook") will love making them with you too. I have a feeling that you WILL make these :) Have fun! Thanks for always stopping by to support me!


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 15, 2012:

Hi Simone ~ Since you've seen Pizzelles, you must try them. It certainly may entice you to purchase an iron and make your own. It's a lot of fun and you can get so creative with the fillings etc. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 14, 2012:

Now those are beautiful! What an interesting bit of history you included too. I love that!

I can't wait to try to do this myself! I'd be so excited to take that to my mom's house for a holiday:). Thank you! I'd never heard of this before or that way of cooking them either. I bet my nephew would love to try it too - he cooks with me a ton! He wants to be a chef when he grows up:) lol. I LOVE it and I loved this hub! A lot!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 14, 2012:

Goodness me, these are so beautiful! I've seen these cookies around before, but have never actually tasted one. Awesome Hub! Now I have half a mind to get one of those irons and start making them at home.

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hey Angela ~ you can come back and visit anytime you wish. Let me know if you do make Pizzelles and how you like them. Take care,


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hi Tina ~ Wow, it appears I have introduced Pizzelles to many people who never heard of them! They really are a lot of fun to make and eat. Thank you so much for your great feedback and votes!


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hey Dr. BJ ~ I'm so glad I can improve your Pizzelle knowledge and get rid of that "gazelle" belief, ha. Thanks for your fun feedback always!


Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 14, 2012:

I had to come back and visit your yummy pictures!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hello tirelesstraveler ~ If your husband loves Cannoli, he will definitely like Pizzelles. I hope you give it a try. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hi Natashalh ~ Aww, I'm so glad this brought back memories of your dad making Pizzelles. I have fond memories about my mom and her "iron" too. Thanks for your great feedback.


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hi Jeannie ~ I hope the "kitchen raid" went okay! I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment. Thank you,


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 14, 2012:

Hello Made ~ Wow, there are so many people that have not had Pizzelles. It's just funny to me since they are so common in my family. You should try them. Thanks for your detailed feedback.


Christina Lornemark from Sweden on June 13, 2012:

I have never heard nor seen pizzelles before but it look so tasty! I would really want to try this with both strawberries and mint, it sounds heavenly. It is also a very beautiful hub!

Voted up and more


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 12, 2012:

Hi Anamika ~ What a sweet comment. Thank SO much! Take care,


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 12, 2012:

Hi Kelley ~ I hope you do purchase an iron and make Pizzelles. You will enjoy them. Thanks for your great feedback and votes.


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 12, 2012:

Hi Tammy ~ sorry 'bout the 5 pounds :) Definitely try to make pizzelles. They are yummy and fun to make. And no, I am not Italian, not even a little. Polish, Ukranian, German and Bohemian. I really appreciate your wonderful feedback. Thank you,


drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 12, 2012:

You have improved my pizzelle knowledge immeasurably, Sharyn, since I didn't have a clue before what a pizzelle was. I thougt it was an Italian cousin of the gazelle. Or a graceful pizza. Thanks for the intriguing recipe and info, m'dear.

Judy Specht from California on June 10, 2012:

What versatile cookies. My husband loves Cannolis, so I suspect he would like these. Nice Hub

Natasha from Hawaii on June 10, 2012:

When I was a kid, my dad had a pizzelle maker. I loved making them! I hadn't thought about it in years, though. Thanks for bringing the memories back!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi jellygator ~ Pizzelles are very much like waffle cones and can be shaped into one as well. You brought up the point about railroads and the 8th century and that really made me think. Although my research confirms this, it seems like it may be inaccurately passed along. Therefore, to be safe, I did change the wording and very much appreciate your feedback. Thank you so much!


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hello lovedoctor926 ~ Oh yeah, strawberries and whipped cream, yummy. The Pizzelle cookie is "the icing on the cake." Do try this Italian dessert, I don't know anyone who does not like Pizzelles. Thanks for your feedback!


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi Billy ~ Personally, I think "face first" is good in this situation, ha. I hope you enjoyed your lunch. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi Kevin ~ oh, that darn sweet tooth is bothering your tummy? I think you'll need to make a Pizzelle dessert to make it feel better! You won't regret it. Thanks for stopping by!


Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on June 10, 2012:

I knew this hub was going to make me hungry, yet I read it anyway. Great hub and voted up. Now, I need to raid my kitchen. :-)

Madeleine Salin from Finland on June 10, 2012:

The picture with pizzelles, strawberries and whipped cream really caught my attention. I have never eaten pizzelles, but I make waffles sometimes. It's great that you write about all these different variations. I guess there's no chance you get tired of making and eating pizzelles. GOOD hub!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi Suzie HQ ~ I am finding out that there are many people that never heard of Pizzelles before. It's so interesting to research the history. I'm glad you enjoyed learning. I never heard of Brandy Snaps so I will have to look them up. You will have fun making Pizzelles and everyone will love them. Thanks so much for your excitement and votes too.


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi Bobbi ~ Well thank you for the compliment. I have not written any cookbooks, but I'd like to put one together with all my mom and grandma's recipes one day. And sorry that you gained 5 lbs. just reading, I'm sure it will come off easily, ha. Thanks for stopping by!


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hello RTalloni ~ oh, I would miss those products for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.


Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on June 10, 2012:

They look so beautiful and Yummy! I absolutely love your recipe hubs. You are wonderful!

kelleyward on June 10, 2012:

Sharyn This looks delicious, amazing, and beautiful all in one! I've got to get one of those electric makers soon! Voted up, useful, and beautiful!

Tammy from North Carolina on June 10, 2012:

I gained 5 pounds reading this hub.. LOL. Gorgeous recipes. I love the canolis. I have never tried to make one, but I will now. Are you italian? This is one of the best recipe hubs ever! Awesome!

Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi Angela ~ They DO taste wonderful. I hope you try them. Thanks so much for sharing the hub!


Sharon Smith (author) from Northeast Ohio USA on June 10, 2012:

Hi Marissa ~ I am SO sorry about your diet :) Moderation and you'll be just fine. Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. I do not have one ounce of Italian in my family and we love Pizzelles!


jellygator from USA on June 09, 2012:

I've never heard of or seen pizelles, but they remind me of yummy waffle cones. Though I didn't know railroads existed in the 8th century. I'm gonna have to learn more so I can impress my husband on that one.

lovedoctor926 on June 09, 2012:

Just looking at those fresh ripe strawberries topped with what looks like whipcream, makes me hungry already. I've never had any Italian dessert before. great hub!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2012:

The pictures alone are enough to make me fall face first into those marvelous creations. Well done and now I need to go eat a much-less satisfying lunch.

KevinMillican from Fort Smith, AR on June 09, 2012: just made my sweet tooth make my tummy hungry.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on June 09, 2012:

Superb article!!! I have never heard of these and it is so interesting to learn about the origins! Rolled they remind me of brandy snaps also! Have to get me a machine! Being a lover of all thing Italian this is a new addition! Thanks so much for sharing, great photos, content, quiz, . . .everything! Voted up and more

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on June 09, 2012:

How great are you for making such delicious goodies. I gained 5 lbs. just reading this. Great Hub. I will come back and read it again to get the recipes.


I voted awesome an beautiful. Your recipes are great--How many Cookbooks have your written?

Your Hub Friend,


RTalloni on June 09, 2012:

Oh me…these are beautifully luscious looking…once in a while I really do miss cow's milk products. :)

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 09, 2012:

Absolutely beautiful and looks like it tastes terrific! Sharred!

Marissa from United States on June 09, 2012:

And there goes my diet... Sharyn, this is fabulous! Cannoli filled pizzelles? YUM! My Italian grandmother still makes these for special occasions. They are so good.

Thank you for sharing your recipes and ideas. Voted up, useful and awesome!


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