Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Italian Holiday Tradition

My "little" brother with our family Christmas tree

Food is a big part of the holiday season especially for Italians. My mother is Italian so we grew up with meatballs, chicken parmesan and spaghetti on constant rotation. During the holidays the Italian sweets and cooking are particularly specials, lucky I grew up in an uber-Italian town where every kid's last name ended with a vowel so I wasn't alone.
Pizelles are a traditional Italian cookie which we devour and love. My mom bought a pizzelle maker while I was in high school so finally we could make these tasty treats at home instead of buying them at the many Italian bakery's nearby. Since then we make these wonderful cookies every Christmas for holiday parties and gifts. They are a great sweet to bring or give as they as simplistic but yet look impressive.

I borrowed my mom's press and made them this week for my first holiday party. You can buy a pizzelle iron here. Also this year my mom is thinking about trying to make cannolis so I'll let you know how that goes.

3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon anise extract
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extact
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter melted
3/4 cup sugar

Beat eggs and sugar.

Add cooled melted butter or margarine, and vanilla and anise. Beat until mixed.

Sift flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture.

Beat until mixed. Batter will be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon. Batter can be refrigerated to be used later.

Place batter on the press with a teaspoon and a knife close it and cook for about 30 seconds. Add or subtract time if they are not cooked enough or over cooked. Don't worry if they are not perfectly in the center of the design, that is what makes them homemade.

Remove with spatula

Cool on cooling rack

Sprinkle with powdered sugar

Place on platter (saving messed up ones for you to eat)

I suggest making these delights while listening to Christmas music especially Dominic the Donkey.

I think I'll be making at least three batches of these lovelies this holiday season.


  1. Such a pretty cookie! I love the maker- like waffle maker!

  2. These look delicious... and I would've loved to grow up in your house! Italian food is by far my all-time favorite kind of food! I could never get sick of pasta!