Christmas Traditions: Pizzelle

Whether it’s setting up your Christmas tree or planning your family meals, this time of year brings out some of the best time honored family traditions. In our family, this time of year usually involves baking cookies. Some of my favorite traditional Italian cookies are made during this time of year.

photo credit:  ilamya

One in particular that always stands out for me is the pizzelle. This traditional Italian wafer-like cookie always makes an appearance during Christmas time. The name pizzelle comes from the Italian word “pizze” which basically means “round and flat”. Traditionally, the pizzelle was made using a batter that was poured between two iron plates and then held over an open fire. The iron plates would have intricate designs and in some instances families had their family crests stamped into them. Today, you can find electric pizzelle makers with their floral or snowflake-like designs in just about any kitchenware store. You can also find many store-bought brands that are available for purchase that aren’t half bad although nothing beats homemade.

Christmas cookies are a fond tradition for many Italian families. What is your favorite family Christmas cookie?


  1. Jessica

    December 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I love pizzelle! My mom made them all the time when I was a kid with her pizzelle maker bought specially in the North End of Boston. Good memories!

  2. Mel

    December 18, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    My favourite has, and always will be, tordilli!

    I haven’t had one in years. What I’d give for one right now 🙂

    Maybe I should find out the recipe and try to make them myself over the holidays.

    Anyone have a recipe they can share?

    1. LuLu

      December 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

      One of my father’s aunts used to make them all the time but I think they were called something different.

  3. susan

    December 17, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I have never made these and I have always wanted to- I better get the tools!

  4. Linda Crispell

    December 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Scintilla told me we share a love for pizzelles! I also wrote a post about them today. My Grandfather Ungaro was born in Cosenza, Calabria.

    1. LuLu

      December 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm

      We do share a love for pizzelle! 🙂 They always come out in full force at Christmas time and all kinds of flavors too. I haven’t had a chance to try and make these since I don’t have a pizzelle maker. But I’m keeping my eyes open for one!! 🙂 When I do get them I may have to borrow your recipe..if that’s alright with you! 🙂

  5. Scintilla

    December 17, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Those ‘Pizzelle’ look lovely.
    In fact they look like ‘pizzo’ which is lace in Italian !

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