Monday, December 12, 2011

French Cookies | The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

You guys know I’ve kind of been on a classic, comforting recipe kick.  My mind was definitely in that place when I chose the recipe for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Well, I also chose them because whiskey is an ingredient…and I chose them because they are so, very special to me.  The holidays are not the same if I don’t get a taste of these cookies.  They are one of my favorite treats to share this time of year.

These cookies have been a tradition in my family for as long as anyone can remember.  Both sides of my mom’s family have made them for many years.  My great grandmother used to mix these up by hand and stand at the stove to cook them, two at a time.  I have immense appreciation for her because of that.



We have always called them French Cookies, some call them pizzelles, which comes from the Italian word pizze meaning flat.  The cookies are placed onto a heated cookie iron, similar to a waffle iron that flattens the dough, cooks it, and stamps a design onto the cookie.  My mom has a newer pizzelle iron (which makes the snowflake-type pattern) but we also used my grandma’s French cookie iron which is older than me (pictured below).  It’s heavy and it’s well-seasoned from years of making these cookies that I love so much.

I had a great time spending the day in the kitchen with my mom, my sister and my two nephews!  We doubled the recipe and ended up making 20 dozen cookies that took us about 8 hours to finish up.  It was, without a doubt, completely worth it…especially since I was able to share them with Paula, Pam, and Michelle!  I love the thought of so many cookies flying all over the place!

If you didn’t participate in the swap this year but want to next year, click here to sign up for updates!  I would also like to give a big thank you to Sally at Sallaboutme for the molasses cookies that she sent me; and also Carrie at Poet in the Pantry who sent me some dark and white chocolate ginger cookies.  Both were fabulous!

PrintPrint Recipe

French Cookie Recipe

Yield: 10 dozen cookies

A family tradition and Christmas-time favorite.


16 cups flour
4 Tbs. baking powder
1 pound butter (4 sticks), room temperature
9 cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
12 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbs. whiskey


Mix the flour and baking powder in a large bowl, set aside. Cream the butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat on high until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla and whiskey.

In a separate bowl, add baking powder to flour and combine. Slowly add flour mixture to liquid in small batches until fully incorporated and combined. Knead by hand if necessary. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.

Roll into 2-inch balls (I used my large cookie scoop that I use for cupcakes) and cook in a preheated cookie iron 60-90 seconds or until they reach the desired doneness.

Cassie’s Notes:
You might find this easier to mix in half-batches at a time and then combine by hand. Even with a strong mixer, a half-batch is usually all that will be able to mix at one time.

Makes about 10 dozen cookies


89 Responses to “French Cookies | The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap”

  1. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — December 12, 2011 @ 6:16 am

    I love that you baked these cookies as a reminder of tradition and family times. That’s what the holidays are about and you have displayed that through these cookies. I wish I were on the receiving end of these 😉 these sound delicious and I’ve had similar ones in a pack from costco before, but I know for sure that yours are 10 times better just cause they’re homemade and from the heart 🙂 really cool cookie presses too!!

  2. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 12, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    I got a pizzelle maker for Christmas last year and I’ve only tried one recipe with it – I’m excited to try yours! Going on my Christmas baking list right now! 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:24 am

      The whiskey is the secret!

  3. #
    Tracy via the traveling cupcake — December 12, 2011 @ 7:30 am

    This is wonderful! My Italian grandma used to have a pizzelle maker that was ancient. She gave it to me a few years back and I loved making these cookies just like she used to. The maker broke soon after I got it and i was never able to get it repaired. I miss making these though so I think I will have to get a new one! Thank you for sharing your memories and letting me take a trip down memory lane as well!

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      That’s what it’s all about. So glad you have fond memories of these cookies, too!

  4. #
    Pam @ From Apples To Zucchini — December 12, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    We LOVED these! I am so happy top have met you through the swap. Your cookies were my favorite of the ones I got, too : )

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      That made my day…so glad you liked them!

  5. #
    Bev Weidner — December 12, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    Look at thooooose!

  6. #
    Erin — December 12, 2011 @ 10:21 am

    Those are impressive looking!

  7. #
    Paula- bell'alimento — December 12, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    Cassie these were SO delicious! THANK YOU! I’m so happy that we were one of your lucky matches! Made even sweeter because I got to meet you earlier this year in Nashville xoxo Merry Christmas sweets!

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:29 am

      Thanks Paula, I’m glad you and your family liked them. Merry Christmas to you!

  8. #
    amy @ fearlesshomemaker — December 12, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    wow, these look amazing, cassie! i’m super impressed. i love pizelles but have never tried making them myself. perhaps a should drop a not-so-subtle-hint to my husband that i’d like one for christmas? =)

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:33 am

      Thanks Amy!

  9. #
    Curt — December 12, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    I love the waffle shape for the cookie!

  10. #
    Brenna — December 12, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    We totally made the same thing! Mine are called pizzelles, but they’re a family thing too. And the recipe is a little different. But so funny! I love these cookies 🙂

  11. #
    Tina @ mylifeasamrs — December 12, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    oh wow – those look sooo good – like flat waffle cones 🙂 What a neat family tradition! love. it.

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:41 am

      One of my favorite family traditions. Thanks, Tina!

  12. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — December 12, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    Wow, 16 cups of flour! I don’t think I have ever seen measurements this big, heehee. Those look gorgeous, and so impressive that they’re made on a pizzelle maker like that. Yum!

  13. #
    Colleen Smith — December 12, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    These are my favorite cookies! So delicious!! Would you mind sharing this recipe with our Facebook fans on the U.S. Postal Service Fan Page? Happy Holidays!

  14. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — December 12, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    These look so delicious! A classic cookie, perfect for the holidays. Beautiful! 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:33 am

      Thanks so much!

  15. #
    Janet@FCTC — December 12, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    These look great, Cassie! I’ve always wanted to but a pizelle iron. Now you’ve given me a good reason to look for one 🙂

  16. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — December 12, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    I haven’t had pizelles in forever! They’re so beautiful though!

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:32 am

      Thanks Jen!

  17. #
    Lacy — December 12, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    I love a good pizelle! I’ve always had them around the holidays also, sprinkled with powdered sugar. I have a pizelle maker but it only does one at a time, little time consuming! lol. Great recipe, I’ll have to try it out!

  18. #
    Steph@stephsbitebybite — December 12, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    These look delicious! Dare I say waffles?!

  19. #
    Jennifer Eloff — December 12, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    A baking marathon! Sounds amazing!

  20. #
    Carroll @Vanilla Lemonade — December 12, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

    Love pizelles! Very similar!

  21. #
    Baker Street — December 12, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    Wow! These are absolutely gorgeous!

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

      Thank you!

  22. #
    Meghan — December 12, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Such a classic & they look delish! 20 dozen!?! Sounds like you had a great day making them!!

  23. #
    Kelsey — December 12, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    It’s so nice that you got to spend the day making these cookies with your family, and with your grandma’s recipe too! They look delicious!

  24. #
    sarah — December 12, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    Oh Cassie- these are gorgeous! I love the simplicity and the story. Lovely post!

  25. #
    Ryan — December 12, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    Oh I love pizzelles and that’s so cool that you have your Grandmother’s old iron! My Great Grandmother used to make them and I loved them. She flavored hers with anise– I wish I had her iron– I have no idea where it ended up but I can just smell the pizzelles cooking on it! Great post Cassie– yours are gorgeous and it sounds like it was a wonderful day!

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

      Glad these brought back memories for you too. I would love to try a recipe with anise!

  26. #
    Terra — December 12, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

    Love these cookies! My friend used to make them for me, was my favorite treat when I visited her. Your addition of whiskey, is well perfect to me!!! Beautiful, Take care, Terra

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:35 am

      The whiskey makes the recipe what it is! Thanks Terra!

  27. #
    carly {carlyklock} — December 12, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    Love the history behind these!

  28. #
    Anne@frommysweetheart — December 12, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

    Cassie, what gorgeous cookies and a wonderful tradition! I LOVE your grandmother’s cookie irons! Wow…they really are something special. Wasn’t this such a fun exchange. And who knows…if I’m lucky….maybe you’ll be sending these to me next year! : )

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

      I hope so Anne!

  29. #
    DessertForTwo — December 13, 2011 @ 12:14 am

    oooh fancy! 🙂

  30. #
    Alyssa — December 13, 2011 @ 5:58 am

    Ok, I really need one of those irons! Those cookies look amazing! Lucky blogger who got those in the mail!

  31. #
    Parsley Sage — December 13, 2011 @ 7:00 am

    Those are so cool! And I’m SUPER jealous of your cookie iron, I never knew such a thing existed! I neeeeeeeeeed one 🙂


  32. #
    Living The Sweet Life — December 13, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    That’s one set of gorgeous cookies!! I love pizzelles – and have been wanting a press forever. I may have to get one, you know – just to make sure this recipe is as amazing as it sounds 😉 lol.

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:36 am

      Thank you, so glad you stopped by!

  33. #
    Katie @ Epicurean Mom — December 13, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    Cassie, First these look Ah-Mazing!! Second, your pics are just gorgeous with your new camera!! Love love love! I bet you are having such a great time!

    I’ve never heard of these cookies, but now you know I’ll be making them! 🙂


    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:38 am

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Katie! I love my new camera, I’m learning lots!!

  34. #
    Andrea (questfordelish) — December 13, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    these cookies look so good. I wish I had known about this before it ended. Looks like so many had fun.

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:45 am

      Hi Andrea! Nice to “meet” you. There is a link in the body of my post that you can go and sign up for notifications for next year’s swap, if you want to be involved next year!

  35. #
    vickie lynn — December 13, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    I couldn’t help but write. We have an old iron in my family too. My greatgrandparents migrated from Belgium and brought it with them. It’s flat black iron with a beautiful design that imprints on the cookie and makes one at a time over the gas stove. It has been passed down in my family through the men. I remember mom & dad making dozens every year at Christmas. We call them Gaullettes and they are deiicious.

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 11:06 am

      Hi Vickie! I’m so glad you wrote. My great grandmother had the iron that you had to stand over the stove to use. I love hearing what others call these cookies. I love to hear that these bring back memories to you too. Happy Holidays!

  36. #
    Colleen — December 13, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    I have found that recipes that are passed down from generation to generation are the best. You just can’t beat family tradition. These look delicious & beautiful.

  37. #
    Paola — December 13, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    So glad you love the idea of your cookies “flying” all over the world! ‘Cause Michelle sent me some all the way to the Dominican Republic!! I love your cookies!!! The texture is amazing!!!

    • Cassie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed them. It gives me such joy to know that these cookies were shared in so many places!

  38. #
    Andrea (questfordelish) — December 13, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    thanks Cassie. I am so excited to do it next year. Thanks for the tip.

  39. #
    Melissa // thefauxmartha — December 13, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

    These look absolutely perfect! And a family recipe?! I want.

  40. #
    alex — December 13, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    Cassie! these are awesome! I really want to get a cookie iron! yummy and delish!

  41. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — December 13, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    Well, you know I love these! I love that your press is older. That makes it more awesome! Being Italian, I’ve always called them pizzelle, but who cares?! They are so yummy!

  42. #
    Kim Bee — December 13, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    Cassie these are wonderful and lucky you to have time with your family. I cannot tell you how much I miss that. My mom passed when I was a teenager. And my sis lives on the other side of the country. So I never get to do this sort of thing. So not trying to bum you out but just wanted to say how lucky you are. And how did I not get assigned to you? I think I need to rig it for next year. xx

  43. #
    Elyse @The Cultural Dish — December 13, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    I call them pizelles but these cookies are amazing no matter what you call them! 🙂 Great cookie for the swap!

  44. #
    Anna — December 13, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    How cool! I’ve never seen a cookie press like that, what a special family tradition!

  45. #
    Ann — December 14, 2011 @ 12:13 am

    Cassie these look amazing! I love pizelles and I think it’s cool that you have cookie presses!

    • Cassie replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 10:19 am

      Thanks so much Ann!

  46. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — December 14, 2011 @ 12:56 am

    OHHHH MYYY! Cassie these totally rock!

    • Cassie replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 10:20 am

      Thanks Laurie!

  47. #
    Liz — December 14, 2011 @ 6:49 am

    Simply fabulous!!! I now need a pizelle iron 🙂 Your swap recipients must have been thrilled!!! Happy Thursday, my friend!

  48. #
    HeatherChristo — December 14, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    These are so incredibly beautiful!! I need to get one of those irons!!

    • Cassie replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 10:19 am

      Thank you Heather! That is a huge compliment coming from you!

  49. #
    Emily Malloy @Cleanliness — December 14, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    Plain and simple, you rock my world.

    • Cassie replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 10:18 am

      Um….you totally just made my day. Thanks for the sweet comment! 🙂

  50. #
    marla — December 14, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    Such pretty cookies! I have never made any like this, but I am now tempted to!

  51. #
    Bonnie Banters — December 15, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    Cassie, these look way more interesting than the pizzelles my Italian friend used to make! Bookmarked! Thanks!

  52. #
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen — December 16, 2011 @ 2:02 am

    Wow, these are so pretty and I bet they taste great! I had some really similar in Germany, thanks for bringing up those memories 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  53. #
    beth wilson — January 8, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    We are studying Europe for my Geography class. I decided to pick France as my country and to represent France I am going to make these cookies. As a second part of the project I have to write a paper on the history of these cookies. Is there anything you know about the history behind these cookies?

    • Cassie replied: — January 8th, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

      Hi Beth! I don’t know much of the history actually. My family has always made them, but we are of German and Italian heritage so I’m not exactly that these cookies come from France. It’s possible though. The old cookie iron that we use is called a Belgian Cookie Iron and pizzelle irons can be used as well. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help! Let me know how they turn out!

  54. #
    Mary Brown — January 9, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    Hi Cassie, saw your soup recipe on TPW website which led me to here. I am a military spouse living in beautiful Germany. I see many of the “irons” at the German “Floh Marts”, kind of like flea markets. My mom made these Gaullettes for years by hand like your Grandma I suppose. I bought an electric iron from C. Palmer Manufacturing, Inc. I think it was about 79.00 it is a gem, so if any of your followers are looking for one. Thanks for letting me comment. Have a great day in the USA.

  55. #
    beth wilson — January 10, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    I made them in a waffle maker and they tasted GREAT! Thanks for the help and the project went good!!

  56. #
    Erika — September 21, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    Wow I’m only a year late-ish to this post, but I love the look of these! Definitely a unique holiday cookie in my opinion. And I am so intrigued–are these things huge or regular-sized? Because those cookie irons look like they could be size of waffle irons!

    • Cassie replied: — September 21st, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

      Hi Erika, you are too sweet! These are pretty big cookies, definitely closer to waffle size than regular cookie size. They are very thin, though!

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