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Waffle Cookies



Brigidini are wafflelike cookies that are also called pizzelle in this country. They also go by many other names, like ferratelle or cialde, in different regions of Italy. They are made in a special ferratella, a long-handled waffle iron. My Grandmother Saporito made them one at a time, holding the iron over a gas flame. The old irons have wonderful raised designs, like shafts of wheat, Roman heads, or tiny figures of people, that become imprinted into the cookie. Some even had the coat of arms of wealthy families of the Renaissance. Today you can find electric waffle irons for brigidini in any good cookware store; some make 4 to 6 cookies at a time, so they can be done very quickly. In Italy, these treats are sold at many of the street fairs.


3 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted

6 large eggs

1 tablespoon anise oil

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon anise seeds


Preheat the waffle iron or pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the anise seeds, and beat well. Stir in the anise seeds. Place 1 tablespoon of batter in the center of each section of the waffle iron or pizzelle maker. Close the lid, hold down the handle, and count to 35. Lift the lid: The cookies should be light golden in color. Remove them carefully, using a fork, and place on a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter.

These will keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Note: If you can't find anise oil, use anise extract, which contains less alcohol and more water. When I use the extract, I use an entire 1-ounce bottle for the right flavor, but this is a matter of personal taste. These can be made ahead and frozen.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc. in 1991.


  1. Giampaolo Fallai's avatar

    Giampaolo Fallai

    Cialde e pizzelle non hanno niente a che fare con i Brigidini toscani, the waffle iron you mentioned will not make a brigidino.

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