Gluten-free pizzelle is one of my most often requested recipes. Pizzelle are a thin, crispy, Italian waffle cookie originally made in Ortona, in the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. In most Italian-American homes, they are a staple at holidays, especially Christmas and Easter. Traditionally pizzelle are lightly anise flavored, but they can be made with vanilla, lemon, orange or any other flavor extract.
While still warm, gluten-free pizzelle can be wrapped around cannoli forms or wood dowels to make an unfried version of cannoli shell. They can also be tucked into muffin tins or small bowls to make little cups to fill with ice cream, mousse or anything else you can think of. Pizzelle can also be sandwiched together with cannoli cream, jam, Nutella or with caramel, like the Dutch Stroopwaffles.
Pizzelle irons come in different sizes, although around five-inch seems to be the most common size. I have a Palmer iron that was passed down to me by my late mother-in law, Patricia Eisenhauer, who, despite her last name, was as Italian as they come. You can still buy the same iron today on Amazon, and although it is more expensive than others, I highly recommend it because mine has lasted through decades of use and is still going strong.
- 227 grams 1:1 gluten free flour blend
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten to break up (150 grams)
- 160 grams sugar
- 1 tablespoon anise extract (or vanilla, lemon, orange or any extract you like)*
- 112 grams unsalted butter, melted
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, and make a well in the middle.
Pour the eggs, sugar, and anise extract into the well in the center of the dry ingredients, and whisk them together. Slowly incorporate the flour from the edges of the well, until it is all blended and the batter is smooth.
Add the melted butter, and whisk together again until smooth.
Set the batter aside to rest for 30 minutes.
If the batter is too thick, add a little milk or water. It should be cake batter consistency.**
Using a small cookie scoop, put one to two tablespoons (depending on the size of your iron) of batter into the center of the pizzelle iron.
Bake about one minute without lifting the cover, until they stop steaming or according to the manufacturer’s directions on your pizzelle iron .
Remove from the iron, and place on a cooling rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.
*Adjust the flavoring to your liking. If you use anise oil instead of extract, you will not need to use as much.
**Make a few test pizzelle to see how you like the thickness and to figure out how much batter to use for your iron. If the pizzelle are thicker than you like, add a little milk or water to thin the batter slightly and test again.