remembering my great aunt jean and her pizzelle cookies

This year’s holiday celebrations are filled with a wave of sadness — not only due to the tragic headlines that have been taking over our conversations and dreams, but also because this is the first Christmas without my grandmother or her sister, my Great Aunt Jean. They both lived long, full lives, and were spunky old Italian ladies right until the very end. Though my grandparents always hosted the holiday dinner for our family, it was Aunt Jean who supplied the cookies. Every year she would make hundreds of delicious pizzelle waffle cookies and distribute them among us. Each one would be perfectly crisp, slightly golden and has just a hint of anise flavor to it.

Luckily, I pried the recipe from her a few a years ago. It’s pretty standard, but why mess with perfection? Today I’m going to dust off my pizzelle waffle iron and whip up a batch to bring home to my cousins in Niagara. It may not fill the void created by losing these two great matriarchs of our family, but it will satisfy our mutual craving.

Classic Pizzelle

(I usually doubled this recipe, fyi)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
3 large eggs
3/4 sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbs anise extract (or vanilla, if you prefer)

First mix the sugar and eggs until stiff, then add butter and anise. Slowly add in dry ingredients until well mixed. Drop by the spoonful on the waffle machine, and cook until slightly brown. Allow them to cool completely before storing.

From our partners

So sorry for your loss, they sound like wonderful ladies. My grandma makes pizzelles for Christmas too — glad you are keeping the tradition alive.


Being cheap, I haven’t sprung for a pizzele maker. I wish my waffle iron had pizelle inserts, a la the Tyson Grill — these look good!