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This healthy pizzelle cookies recipe is elevated with spelt and buckwheat flours. Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from a batter-like dough on a special press.
Pizzelle cookies were always a special Christmastime treat in my home growing up. I will gladly eat one anytime of the year, to be honest!
They are actually quick and easy to make, only taking around 20 minutes from start to finish. If you already own a press, they are an amazing dessert to whip up in a pinch.
We only ever make our pizzelle cookies with traditional anise flavoring, but the cookies can be flavored with any extract you like.
For fun variations, you can wrap the hot pizzelle cookies around a dowel to form cannoli shells, or around a cone-shaped form for homemade ice cream cones!
So this year I made this pizzelle cookies recipe with a combo of milled spelt (an ancient wheat) and buckwheat.
I loved the resulting flavor and light texture!
The pizzelle cookies pictured were made with a mini pizzelle press.
The shallow wells in the mini press make it harder to achieve perfect-looking cookies. However, being small, they are so cute to stack on a tray of mixed Christmas cookies.
They are also small enough to be stacked inside a suitable-sized coffee mug to be gifted (I do love homemade food gifts for the holidays).
You can place a cookie-filled mug inside a cellophane treat bag and tie the top of the bag with a ribbon and gift tag.
How to Adjust This Pizzelle Cookies Recipe for High Altitude
We live at high elevation in Colorado (8,950 ft).
Like many of my cookie and cake-baking fiascos up here, my anise pizzelles were turning out super thin with excessive air bubbles in the finished cookies.
I learned I can simply decrease the amount of baking powder to achieve the perfect texture where I live. I have notes for this adjustment in the recipe card if you’re in a similar situation.
Pizzelle Cookie Batter Consistency
I’ve written the recipe by weight so you can achieve a consistent result when using wholegrain flours (even freshly milled flours).
I honestly prefer baking with my scale now. It’s so much quicker to dump ingredients into the bowl on the scale than it is to measure everything out.
The resulting batter is thicker than pancake batter, but still thin enough to drop on the press.
Tips for Making Pizzelle Cookies
- If you’re milling your own spelt and buckwheat, weigh the grains prior to milling. Then you’ll make the perfect amount of flour for the recipe.
- Don’t worry if your cookies don’t come out perfectly. The ragged edges only add to the charm and they look beautiful stacked together no matter what.
- Leave pizzelles completely flat to cool. They will be flexible only while they are hot, then they will take on whatever shape they are in. They will become crisp as they cool completely and then you can stack them.
- Digital kitchen scale (this one is my favorite, especially for baking bread, but any one will do)
- Electric hand mixer (helps the batter to come together so quickly)
- Mini pizzelle press or standard-size pizzelle press depending on your preference
- Cooling rack
How to Make Pizzelle Cookies – Step-by-Step
Step 1 – Preheat Pizzelle Press and Mix Batter
Plug in your pizzelle press to preheat after you’ve familiarized yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions.
To make the batter quickly, I like to use an electric hand mixer.
Start by mixing the flours and baking powder in a small bowl first. This is to insure the baking powder is evenly distributed. Set the dry ingredients aside.
Into a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs until they lighten in color. Then beat in granulated sugar until well combined.
Finally, mix in melted butter and anise extract (or your extract of choice).
Then you can use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour and baking powder mixture until just combined. You will want to avoid over-mixing the batter at the end.
Step 2 – Cook Pizzelles in the Press
As soon as your pizzelle maker is ready, you can begin the cooking process.
I don’t find the need to grease my press, but again, follow the instructions for your own press.
Drop the appropriate amount of batter onto the center of each cookie well and close the lid. My trick is to use a small cookie scoop to drop the batter.
The pizzelle cookies cook quickly, usually in just 30-45 seconds (and less for the minis). They are done once they’ve taken on on some golden-brown color.
Step 3 – Transfer Cookies From the Press to a Cooling Rack
The cookies will be flexible while they are hot. I find it easiest to transfer the cookies from the press to the cooling rack with a fork.
They cool and take on their final shape quickly. Make sure to leave them flat on the rack in a single layer at first.
Continue cooking your pizzelle cookies in the same manner until you’ve finished.
Serve them as they are, sandwich preserves or a special filling between the cookies, or dust them with powdered sugar.
How to Store Pizzelles
To keep pizzelle cookies crisp, make sure they cool completely before you store them.
Keep them in an airtight container out of direct sunlight to prevent condensensation from forming.
Pizzelles freeze well stacked in a zipper freezer bag or in a food-safe container for longer storage. They tend to get soggy in the refrigerator.
If you make this recipe and love it, I would be so grateful if you would come back to leave a star rating and a comment. Your feedback is very appreciated!
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