These classic Italian cookies are a Christmas tradition in my family. The original recipe is flavored with anise, but vanilla extract can be substituted. It’s necessary to have a pizzelle baker to create the authentic snowflake design; ours is made by Vitantonio, the company that also provided the basic recipe.
1½ cups sugar
1 cup margarine, melted
2 tbsp. anise or vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1. In large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, beat eggs. Gradually add sugar; beat until smooth. Stir in margarine and anise or vanilla until blended.
2. Sift flour and baking powder. Blend into egg mixture until smooth. (Dough will be sticky enough to be dropped by a spoon.)
3. Preheat pizzelle baker. Place dough at the center of bottom grid (1 heaping teaspoonful will make a full-size cookie). Bake about 30 seconds or until golden brown.
4. Remove cookies from baker with a fork and cool on racks.
Photograph courtesy of Benita Gingerella