Our family doesn’t much believe in keeping family secrets when it comes to food - we like sharing the love whenever possible
When I was a little girl, my Nonna and my Bisnonna would sit down in the basement and make these one at a time by the hundreds (Italian woman always seem to have a second kitchen in the basement). They used an old-fashioned pizzelle iron they’d flip back and forth over a gas flame and the cookies were always perfect. The cookies I produce with their recipe on my two-at-a-time electric pizzelle iron today are delicious, but there is absolutely no comparison.
The baking times are approximate. Believe it or not, when I learned to make them, my very Italian, Roman Catholic grandmothers taught me that saying “three Hail Marys” would yield the perfect pizzelle. And that’s how I still do it myself to this day. I worked out the actual times one year for my friends of other faiths after I teased them that they’d have to learn how to say a “Hail Mary” to make them .. and they looked at me like a deer caught in headlights
If you like the taste of anise, you can substitute anise flavoring for the vanilla. And sometimes, my Nonna would also toss in a shot of whiskey or rum.
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 lb unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift flour and baking powder together; set aside. Beat butter with sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then beat in vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture just until well-mixed. This is a soft dough, so feel free to refrigerate it for a bit to help it firm up a little (but not too much or it will affect your baking times).
Roll into 1” balls and bake for approximately 25-35 seconds on a heated pizzelle iron or until barely taking on color. Let cool on wire racks.