Pizzelle’s are an Italian cookie made on a special “Pizzelle Iron.” It’s sorta like a waffle iron, except it makes incredibly thin cookies. Newer-fangled ones are electric and cook two cookies at a time.  The older, original ones were cast iron and held over an open flame.  Sometimes progress is a good thing…

The *family* recipe calls for anisette and anise seed. One year, I decided to make an amaretto flavored pizzelle substituting 1 cup of almond meal for 1 cup of flour and amaretto in place of anisette.  It was sacrilege and scandal in the Martorano family home.  Victor’s mother wouldn’t touch them. Just to be contrary, I made them again the following year – and she scarfed them up!

We now make a variety of them simply by tweaking the original recipe. Nonna still prefers the original – but will eat any offered to her!


  • 6 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 pound butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • anise seed and anisette to taste.

Beat together eggs and sugar till smooth. Add cooled butter, vanilla, anisette, oil, and milk.  Sift together dry ingredients and mix into egg mixture. Toast anise seeds to release flavor. Cool and mix into batter.

Place walnut-sized drop of dough onto pizzelle iron and cook about 25-30 seconds. Dust with powdered sugar when cooled.