Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the Round

For more than a decade, Debbie Garlotta has been baking authentic Italian pizzelle. A few years ago, one of her customers asked if she could make a gluten-free version of her handmade cookies. So she experimented with different ingredients until she was satisfied with the result. Now, her Southampton, New Jersey-based company, Dee Tees' Gourmet Italian Pizzelles, offers gluten-free and gluten-free/sugar-free pizzelle in three varieties year-round: vanilla, chocolate chip and anise. A fourth gluten-free flavor - pumpkin - is sold during fall months.

Debbie told me that she has separate baking schedules for the pizzelle made with wheat and her gluten-free versions, which use rice flour. She says that her equipment and facility are cleaned after every run of the cookies with gluten and she waits several days from the end of each run before starting a two-week gluten-free production.

The gluten-free and award-winning gluten-free/sugar-free pizzelle are sold in packs of 13-14 cookies each and are available at stores throughout the area. There's a store-locator feature on the company's website, but not all stores carry the gluten-free varieties. Debbie mentioned that in Pennsylvania, Martindale's Natural Market in Springfield and Altomonte's Italian Market in Doylestown and Warminster stock the gluten-free cookies, as do Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Mr. Ritt's Bakery in Millville, New Jersey and the Zallie's ShopRite markets in southern New Jersey. You can call Dee Tees' directly at (609) 859-9159 to find out which stores near you sell them. Depending on the store, a package of pizzelle sells for around $5.99-$6.99.
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