Heather is happiest when taking a beautiful photo, creating something in her kitchen, or elbows-deep in a DIY project.
What Are Pizzelles?
Pizzelles are traditional Italian cookies that are made using an iron or press (similar to a waffle maker). You may have heard this cookie pronounced "PIT-sell" or "PIT-selly." These cookies are traditionally flavored with Anise and sprinkled with powdered sugar. In my family, we made and ate dozens and dozens of pizzelles during the Christmas season. I've been making them since I was a little girl. Now as an adult, I have my own iron and continue this tradition.
I got a hankering for pizzelles the other day and since Christmas is still two months away, I decided to experiment with pumpkin and Halloween sprinkles. They came out so pretty and yummy! I think I may have inadvertently begun a new fall baking tradition.
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Pumpkin Pizzelle Ingredient List
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Approximately 50 Cookies
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- 1 stick Butter, softened
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Canned Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 and 1/2 cups Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Do I Need a Whole Can of Pumpkin?
There are 8 ounces in a cup. Libby's 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin usually comes in 15 oz and 29 oz cans. This would leave you a little less than half of the can for other recipes with pumpkin. If you want to make a double batch of pizzelles, you can easily use just one 15 oz can of pumpkin. Technically your mix will be 1 oz shy of pumpkin, but I have made them this way and they came out fine. Just be sure to properly double all of your other ingredients. If you notice your can of pumpkin is 30 oz, recheck the label to make sure it isn't Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix.
Pumpkin Pizzelle Mix
How to Make Pizzelles
- Preheat pizzelle press.
- Beat butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Add eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Combine well.
- Sift remaining dry ingredients together. Add gradually to pizzelle mix.
- Drop mixture onto centers of cookie molds. Close iron and cook 30-60 seconds.
- Remove finished cookies and lay flat to cool.
Cuisinart Pizzelle Press
Italian Pizzelle Iron
This is my pizzelle iron. I purchased it from a local kitchen gadget store about five years ago. You can see the pricetag still on the box; I paid $39.99. It cooks two cookies at a time and also comes with a small, thick, wooden dowel for rolling warm pizzelles into cannolis. Pizzelle Irons are specialty appliances—but well worth the price. If taken care of, they can also last for awhile. My mom has had and used her pizzelle iron for 30+ years and counting.
Tips for Making Pizzelles
- This pumpkin pizzelle batter is a little thicker than traditional pizzelle batters that I've worked with in the past. If you notice this too, don't be alarmed. They come out just fine.
- I remember my mom's pizzelle iron was finicky unless you knew how to sweet talk it. You had to lightly paint the plates with a little oil every now and then or the cookies would stick. Thankfully, this newer model has non-stick plates. I use a tiny bit of oil on the first set of pizzelles to get it started and then I'm good to go. If you notice your pizzelles are sticking or difficult to remove, try brushing a little oil onto your iron, especially in the design grooves.
- If this is your first time making pizzelles, it may take you a few cookies to get used to how much batter to use. After a while, you can easily tell how much batter is too much or too little. A little practice each time will yield perfect pizzelles.
- Always be sure to drop batter in center of cookie design. This will ensure pretty and round cookies while preventing messes and dripping.
Italian Pizzelle Cookies
Italian Waffle Cookies
The pizzelle iron looks a bit like a waffle iron. It's designed in such a way that every cookie will be two-sided and both sides of the same cookie are different designs. The cookie on the left looks very floral while the one on the right looks similar but more like a snowflake. Pizzelles are traditionally made and served for Easter, Christmas, and also weddings. When sprinkled with powdered sugar, pizzelles look even more like snowflakes—making them one of my favorite Christmas cookies.
Pizzelles Dusted With Confectioner's Sugar
Making Cannolis With Pizzelle Maker
As the pizzelles cool, they will crisp up a bit and become strong enough to stack. You can also form your warm pizzelle cookies into cannolis, cones, or bowls.
For these halloween-inspired pizzelles, I added some black and orange Wilton sprinkles for color. Add sprinkles directly to batter and mix well to evenly distribute. Some of the sprinkles melt as the cookie bakes, creating colorful swirls and streaks.
There is a very special place in my heart for traditional pizzelles and a new spot for their pumpkin cousins. This recipe had my kitchen and house smelling heavenly—better than my fall-themed air freshener for sure! Are pizzelles a tradition in your family? Are there any special ways you make them for other celebrations? Share your experiences with me in a comment below.
Traditional Italian Cookies
Questions & Answers
Question: Are pumpkin pizzelle cookies nice and crisp?
Char on November 06, 2019:
I will sprinkle mine with cinnamon sugar when cool
Cindy on October 11, 2019:
I am going to make Pumpkin Pizzelle’s today - ingredients are out and ready to start!
DonnaV on October 05, 2019:
Are these cookies soft or hard?
Kathy @ mawsons.us on November 11, 2016:
I got an iron last year, and they are so good .I haven't got the size of dough down but it's fun to eat the mistakes.
Roxanne on January 12, 2016:
I just got a pizzelle maker and am desperate to find one using matcha powder. Unfortunately i don't have a baker's brain and don't even know where to start. Have you seen a recipie like this or have any tips? Thank you!
Lorinda on November 01, 2015:
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 30, 2015:
Heather, these cookies looks delicious to eat and easy to make. I would love to try them someday. Great recipe!
linda on October 29, 2015:
katie on October 21, 2015:
these were bomb!
Toni on November 16, 2014:
If your pizzelles ever get to the soft stage after a little time just heat up your toaster over and toss them in for a couple minutes. Good as new!
Karen on November 16, 2014:
pronounced - pit-sela
Heather (author) from Arizona on October 31, 2013:
@Glimmer Twin Fan-- Thanks! I hope Santa brings you one this year. While I don't use it nearly as often as I would like to, it's one of those kitchen gadgets that's nice to have around the holidays. The price point also doesn't haunt me when I drag it out on rare occasions.
Claudia Mitchell on October 29, 2013:
Wish I had a pizzelle maker! This look great. Might be on my Christmas wish list.
Heather (author) from Arizona on October 16, 2013:
@abetterwaytolive-- Aw thanks. You're awesome too. Thanks for stopping by and making my day.
@purl3agony-- I can't imagine how much you must comment to be level 5. Go girl! I' feel like I comment all day and I'm only level 3. Anyway. That's awesome that your mom has an iron. You'll have to try these and let me know how it goes :) My husband almost didn't want to eat them when I put the spider prop on top for a pic.
Casey Johnson from Sanger, Texas on October 16, 2013:
This looks so good! You are awesome.
Donna Herron from USA on October 15, 2013:
These look almost too beautiful to eat! My Mom has a pizzelle press. I'll have to steal - I mean "borrow" - it from her and try this recipe. They sound super yummy! Pinning now :)
Heather (author) from Arizona on October 12, 2013:
@jeffreymaskel-- Thanks for the kind words. So nice of you to stop by and comment :)
Jeffrey Maskel from Boulder, CO on October 11, 2013:
Oh my goodness those look so amazing. I think I might have to bookmark this hub. You take great photos for your hubs as well.
Heather (author) from Arizona on October 09, 2013:
@Eiddwen-- Thanks for reading and commenting :)
Eiddwen from Wales on October 05, 2013:
A great hub and thanks for sharing.
Heather (author) from Arizona on October 05, 2013:
@randomcreative-- It's true... some of the yummiest things are the simplest. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)
@fivesenses-- Good to see you! Thanks for reading :)
@Pamela Blair-- Aw, thanks Pam. You totally made my day :)
@Jeannie-- Thanks! I'm a sucker for pumpkin. I just might try to add pumpkin to everything before the season is over ;)
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 04, 2013:
This is such a simple, neat recipe! I can't get over how easy it is to put together. So inspired to put a pumpkin twist on this classic idea. Thanks for sharing!
Leena from new delhi on October 04, 2013:
I have a waffle maker but have never made pumpkin pizzelle cookies till now....great recipe.
voted and shared.
Pamela Blair on October 04, 2013:
Can I just say how awesome I think you are! So creative and those look yummy!
Jeannie on October 04, 2013:
Love all your pumpkin recipes!