Adriana Trigiani’s Holiday Pizzelles

Don't Sing At the TableDear readers, we have another guest blogger for you today! Please welcome this fiction writer to The Secret Ingredient. Adriana Trigiani is best known for her beloved New York Times bestselling novels—the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; and Rococo. In each, traditional Italian cuisine and family recipes become the meals that shape her narratives, the foods that define her characters, the exquisite details that transform a setting. In her latest, Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers, Trigiani shares the stories of cooking, baking, and feasting from her grandmothers’ lives—the classic dishes they brought with them from Italy, their own twists on old family favorites and more—that Trigiani still cooks and writes about today. Below is a recipe for pizelles…with a little something more luxurious. Trigiani is also the author of the cookbook Cooking with My Sisters: One Hundred Years of Family Recipes, from Bari to Big Stone Gap. To learn more about Adriana, visit

I love to read and I love to cook. Pizelles are an Italian wafer cookie, often served at weddings and on holidays. I took my grandmother’s recipe and updated it, exchanging the Anisette liqueur for Peach Schnapps. One time I was fooling around in the kitchen, and decided to try a pizzelle with caviar and sour cream on top–and it was amazing. So here’s the recipe–you can eat them plain, pair them with ice cream or…try my newfangled way with caviar and sour cream. Roman Falconi in Very Valentine gets the credit for creating them, but when you imagine a chef and create him, it’s the author’s responsibility to make him a great chef–and for that, he needs some new ideas and some dishes worth trying at home. Here it is. Enjoy!

—Adriana Trigiani

Grandmom’s Savory Pizzelles
Yields 4 dozen

You need a pizzelle iron. Go and get one.

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons peach schnapps liqueur
  • Dash of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Black caviar for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, peach schnapps, and lemon juice until smooth. Then, slowly sift in the dry ingredients: flour and baking powder. Beat until smoother still.

Grease the pizzelle iron with shortening (but we get great results with nonstick cooking spray) and preheat it. Fill a 1 cup measuring cup with batter and ladle it onto the back of the iron until it spreads evenly. You won’t use the whole cup, but it gives you control over the batter. When it spreads and the edges bubble up, close the iron and cook until golden brown.

The batter and pressing process takes practice. Be patient—it will be worth it! Remember, the pizzelle maker (you) is the most popular girl in town!

To use as appetizers, cut each pizzelle into four wedges (quarters) with a pizza cutter. If you want to be extravagant, dollop black caviar onto the wedges and serve immediately. The tender pizzelles and the caviar are a perfect combo! Serve them with cocktails or a crisp white wine. Dee-lish!

2 Responses to “Adriana Trigiani’s Holiday Pizzelles”
  1. Kathy Chernicky says:

    Just made these this morning and they are absolute perfection. I sprinkled powdered sugar on the top of each one to add some decoration. This is a keeper!!

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