Pizzelles are thin, flat, round Italian cookies traditionally flavored with Anise. They are made using a Pizzelle Iron that gives them a waffle like appearance and imprints them with a pretty pattern. We make them for holidays and special occasions.
My Grandma was the pro in the family and never failed to show up, no matter the occasion, with a giant tray of pizzelles scattered with Hershey Kisses and colorful mints. She could make a 100 at a time, each one perfect. The job has fallen on my shoulders now and all I can say is I need lots of practice. I am using her very old Pizzelle Iron that might be as old as me, if not older. We also inherited a long-handled, hand-held one for using over an open fire or gas stove. If you are thinking of getting a Pizzelle Iron they are well worth the money, they last forever.
Warm pizzelles can be formed into shapes like cones, tubes and baskets and filled with ice cream, pastry cream, custard or candies. The tubes can be used for cannoli shells and filled with sweet ricotta. They can be made into ice cream sandwiches. My Mom remembers my Great-Grandma making a filling for them with grape jelly and crushed almond crescent cookies.
Anise gets a bad rap from being labeled as licorice-tasting. Although it’s slightly reminiscent the taste is much lighter than licorice, it has more floral notes and is sweeter. I don’t like licorice. I love anise.
The pizzelles can be made with just vanilla extract or other flavors like lemon, chocolate or amaretto. I tried some other flavors but they didn’t compare to the Anise ones. Anise rules the world of Pizzelles.