Martha Bakes: Classic Italian Cookies | PBS Food

Martha Bakes: Classic Italian Cookies

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With Martha Bakes, discover Martha Stewart’s tips and techniques to create delectable baked goods. Be sure to check your local listings to see when the program will be airing in your area.


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In Italian, la dolce vita means the sweet life so it seems fitting that Italians eat cookies at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On today’s show, Martha shares three scrumptious recipes including Sicilian buccellati cookies filled with a delicious combination of pecans, figs, and raisins, Italian wafer cookies known as pizzelle, and the distinctive diamond-shaped zaleti found throughout Venice. You’ll definitely want to add these to your repertoire!

This Week’s Recipe

Anise Pizzelle

Make Martha Stewart's Anise Pizzelle from the Classic Italian Cookies episode of Martha Bakes.



  • 1 1/4 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure anise extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Confectioners’ sugar (optional)


  1. Heat a nonstick pizzelle iron. In a small skillet, toast anise seeds over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer seeds to a spice grinder, let cool, and finely grind. Scrape into a medium bowl; whisk together with flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in vanilla and anise extracts. Slowly add cooled butter in a steady stream, whisking continuously, until batter is smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
  3. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe about 2 tablespoons batter in a circle around the center of each pattern on the heated pizzelle iron. Close and seal with clasp. Cook until golden brown, about 45 seconds. Using a small spatula, release and remove cookie. Using kitchen shears or a 4 1/2-inch ring mold, trim any ragged edges, if desired. Transfer cookie to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Yield: Makes about 18


Additional Recipes

Additional recipes and video clips from the episode are available on

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