Italian Pizzelle Cookies

More than just cookies...

For as long as I can remember, my family has gathered together the week before Christmas baking dozens and dozens of cookies. Each year, these cookies make their way into the homes of family members, friends and co-workers where they are enjoyed by many. It is the longest withstanding family tradition we have, and as I get older, I appreciate it more and more. Though recipes have come and gone over the years, the one that stays true is my great-grandmother's famous Italian pizzelle cookies.

These traditional waffle cookies, which get their name from the Italian word, "pizze", meaning "flat and round", have been staples in Italian bakeries and kitchens for centures, first originating in the Abruzzo region of south-central Italy. To this day, these delicious cookies are found at most Italian weddings and celebrations, and are very rarely missing from Christmas dessert tables due to their snowflake resemblence. I know that in my family, Christmas wouldn't be the same without them. It is for this reason I'm sharing this very special recipe now.

My great-grandmother's pizzelle recipe

NOTE: You will need a Pizzelle Maker in order to make these cookies.

Each batch will make approximately 3-4 dozen cookies.

6 cups eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 TBSP anise
2 TBSP vanilla
1 cup butter, melted

Beat eggs, adding sugar gradually. Beat well. Add butter, vanilla, and anise flavoring. Sift flour and baking powder and blend with egg mixture. Dough is sticky. Make sure pizzelle maker is preheated and slightly greased. Drop batter by teaspoon. Cook 35-45 seconds. Cookies will be a light golden brown when they are ready. Remove from pizzelle maker and move to cookie sheets to cool.

After 10-15 minutes, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and enjoy!

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