Pizzelle are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar & butter. They are usually flavored with anise or anisette, vanilla or lemon zest.
Pizzelle can be crisp or soft and chewy depending on the ingredients and preparation. They can be molded into various shapes, including in the shape of cannoli.
Pizzelle were originally made in Ortona, Abruzzo a region in Southern Italy. The name comes from the Italian word for “round” and “flat” (pizze).
This is also the meaning of the word pizza. The Pizzelle is known to be one of the oldest cookies dating back to the ancient Roman Crustulum. Pizzelle are known as ferratelle in the Lazio region of Italy and ferratelle or cancelle, in Molise.
The cookie batter is put into a pizzelle iron, which resembles a small variant of the popular waffle iron. The pizzelle iron is held by hand over a hot burner on the stovetop. Newer models are electric and require no stove.
Typically, the iron stamps a snowflake pattern onto both sides of the thin golden-brown cookie. It should have a crisp texture once cooled. There are also several brands of ready-made pizzelle available in Italian stores throughout the world.
Pizzelle are popular, especially during Christmas. They are often found at Italian weddings, alongside other traditional pastries such as cannoli and other Italian cookies.