Thin and crisp Gluten-Free Pizzelle are a classic Italian cookie. An easy to make recipe for delicate and crispy pizzelle cookies from the Abruzzo region of Italy. They are lovely to bake during Christmas or any time of the year. Perfect to enjoy with an espresso for a coffee break.
It seems that Christmas is almost here and you can tell by how many more cookies we are baking! I couldn’t wait to make these gluten-free pizzelle!! Pizzelle are cookies that remind me of so many Christmas celebrations growing up.
One of my earliest Christmas memories is taking a bite of a pizzelle cookie! Another childhood cookie favorite are these Italian Lemon Know Cookies-Taralli al Limone and these Cuccidati-Sicilian Fig Cookies.
My Favorite Italian Christmas Desserts
These pizzelle are part of My Favorite Italian Christmas Dessert series. WOW your guests with my Italian mother-in-law’s cherished Nocatole-Calabrian Sweet Fritters recipe and also these fabulous Pitta ‘Impigliata-Calabrian Fruit and Nut Pastries. Soon there will be more to come to make a sweet Italian Christmas! We know you’ll love our Hazelnut and Dried Cherry Biscotti .
You won’t find pizzelle just anywhere in Italy. My in-laws are here visiting from Italy, and they have never seen them before. They may also be called ferratelle and they can find in the Molise and Abruzzo regions of Italy. In Abruzzo, they may also be called neole, nevole or cancelle.
The first pizzelle were made in Abruzzo back in the 8th century. The irons used to make the pizzelle were round or rectangular and very often had the family crest on them. Today you can find them made in the shape of a heart, a snowflake or even a flower (depending on the cookie maker).
What is the consistency of gluten-free pizzelle cookies?
My dough was like a thick pancake batter and you spoon out enough to add to the center of the iron (just about a tablespoon). You make two at a time and you have to carefully lift them off of the iron. If it runs over the design, you just have to break around the edges to take off the excess cookie.
What ingredients are in pizzelle cookies?
- flour (I used gluten-free multi-purpose flour)
- baking powder
- and a fat source (I used melted butter)
- anisette and vanilla extract (use your favorite-I like both!)
I made these with gluten-free flour. You could use your favorite all-purpose flour instead if you aren’t baking gluten-free. The texture will depend on the quantity of the ingredients and also the amount of butter (or oil). The flavor is entirely up to you! I like to add anisette and vanilla. I use probably less anisette (I know some recipes use one tablespoon of anisette)than other Italian bakers, as my kids prefer the taste of vanilla.
Do I need a pizzelle iron to make pizzelles?
Yes! The only way you’ll get their characteristic shape is by making them with an iron.
How do you make gluten-free pizzelle cookies crisp?
- once you remove the pizzelle from the pizzelle maker, place them flat on a cooling rack or serving plate lined with parchment paper;
- be sure to lay them side by side and not stacked up (they will get very mushy from the steam);
- leave them on the rack to air dry for a few hours.
The pizzelle are thin and crisp and very delicate. When you remove the pizzelle from the iron plate you have only a few moments to roll into a different shape before they dry. Or you lay them flat like we did and dust with confectioner’s sugar to enjoy them as simple and delicious as they are!
How do I store pizzelle so that they stay nice and crisp?
- place in cookie or coffee tins;
- wrap in aluminum foil;
- place in paper bags.
The pizzelle can be stored in air tight container for up to 2-3 weeks (at least in Florida…maybe longer in a colder kitchen). I tend to avoid storing them in a plastic container.
What to do with pizzelle cookies?
While they are still hot, they are so easy to shape!
- You could even roll them into a cannoli shape.
- Another idea is shaped into a cone to hold gelato.
- Form them into a bowl and they’re delicious topped with custard, jam or Nutella!!
The kids are so happy when it’s Christmas time and it’s pizzelle making time! I happened to make them with a gluten-free all purpose flour for this batch. Feel free to use regular all-purpose flour if you don’t want them GF.
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- 1 1/4- 1 1/2 gluten-free flour multi-purpose flour or use regular all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon anise extract optional
- 1/2 cup butter or butter alternative melted
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Warm up a pizzelle iron and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until frothy and beginning to thicken (about 2-3 minutes).
- On low speed, add the extracts and melted butter to egg mixture in a steady stream and mix for 30 seconds.
- Slowly add the dry mixture to wet and blend just until combined. Your batter will resemble a soft and sticky dough.
- Drop 1 tablespoon of batter on hot pizzelle press. Close press and cook for about 1 minute or until light indicated cookies are done (cookies should be slightly golden).
- Use a fork to lift pizzelle off the press and transfer to a plate.