Your favorite wafer cookies just got more epic. Pumpkin spice pizzelles are warm with cinnamon and ginger, yet crispy like a wafer rather than cake-like, like most pumpkin spice cookies. These cookies are easy to make and take less than an hour for a 30 cookie batch. And you don’t even need an oven. With a pizzelle iron you can make these in a dorm room, a studio apartment, a camper, or anywhere you can plug in for power.
What’s a Pizzelle?
Pizzelles are an Italian wafer cookie made with a special iron press that squishes the cookie batter between two decorative plates, and then heats it to a crisp cookie texture, much like a waffle cone. Pizzelles are quick to make, and not too sweet. Commonly served with espresso they are a light treat that won’t overwhelm.
In Italy, where the cookie originated, they are filled with digestive herbs and spices, like anise, cardamom, or ginger. This makes them the ideal finish for a heavy meal.
What I love about pizzelles is their versatility! You can fill them or flavour them in so many unique ways. You can serve them with ice cream, espresso, or hot chocolate. You can make them the finish for the meal or the beginning. You can make them sweet or savory. You can top them with ice cream, sweet butter cream, or even cheese and salsa.
Try this pumpkin spice pizzelle for a light finish to Thanksgiving Dinner, Sunday Supper, Christmas Eve, or Shabbat. Or serve it with hot cocoa after school. Pizzelles are light and satisfying.
To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute coconut oil for the butter in an equal exchange.
Pumpkin Spice Pizzelles
Yield: 30 — 4 inch cookies
3 eggs, room temperature
½ cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup pumpkin or butternut squash, cooked and pureed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons baking powder
Grease the plates of the pizzelle iron generously with butter or coconut oil. Preheat the pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions.
(While my pizzelle iron has a nonstick surface, if I was buying one today, I’d definitely get one with a normal metal surface, to avoid the toxins associated with nonstick cookware, like this one.)
Set up a cooling rack close to where you are baking the pizzelles. One you start cooking them you need to work fast.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and maple syrup together until light and fluffy. I use a wire whisk and beat it by hand. It’s not a difficult batter to work with by hand.
Add butter, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat well.
Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt, and baking powder together and add to egg mixture. Mix until just blended. Don’t overwork the batter. Batter will be stiff. If it is too runny it won’t spread properly in the iron.
Drop the batter by the spoonful into the centre of each circle on the pizzelle iron, just slightly toward the back of centre. My pizzelle iron uses 1 heaping teaspoon of batter per pizzelle. Follow the directions with your own pizzelle iron.
It takes a bit of practice to place the dough in exactly the right spot on your iron to fill the design without any overflow. It’s worth the extra effort to get to know your own pizzelle iron so that you know exactly where to place the batter.
Close the pizzelle iron over the batter and let it cook until the steam stops. Once the steam stops and the pizzelles are baked remove them from the iron.
How long should you cook pizzelles?
Most pizzelle irons will evenly brown your pizzelles in 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Once the steam stops, though, the pizzelle may be pale, tan brown. If you plan to shape the pizzelle, remove them from the iron at this stage. They will be more pliable and less likely to crack when you roll them. Pumpkin pizzelles are fairly moist. To crisp them up allow them to become golden brown before removing them from the pizzelle iron.
If you plan to serve them as flat wafers, the darker pizzelle has a more intense caramelized flavour.
If you want to roll them into cones or cut them into wedges do that immediately when they come off the pizzelle iron. They are soft and pliable then. As they cool they will crisp up.
Place them on the cooling rack.
When they are cool enough to handle, I pull off the outer edges that are outside the design. This is optional. I save the crumbs for toppings for other cakes and desserts.
How to serve pizzelles
Serve pumpkin spice pizzelles plain, with a dusting of icing sugar, or dip them in melted chocolate. Can’t get enough pumpkin spice? Serve pumpkin spice pizzelles with pumpkin spice latte and celebrate the season, with warmth and good cheer.
After making pumpkin spice pizzelles, while you still have your pizzelle iron warmed up. try these other pizzelle wafers, too! Pizzelles are so versatile you can create many different flavours, both sweet and savory. They are so quick to make, too. A single batch from start to finish takes less than 30 minutes.
Savory pizzelles (like crackers)
Lemon dill pizzelles from Attainable Sustainable
Find more Christmas cookie recipes at The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange Page