Linda Freed and Debra Latynski own Dolce Pizzelle Cookie Co. in Hammondsville, Ohio. This is their story of how a family tradition turned into owning their own business.
The Italian word pizzelle, loosely means “small, flat, and round.” It originated in the 8th century in the area of Abruzzo, Italy.
In Italy, pizzelles may also be referred to as ferratelle, nevole, ciarancelle, cancellette, and catarette. Pizzelles are a thin wafer-like, cookie made in round or rectangular shapes with a special iron apparatus and made with eggs, sugar, flour, oil and usually anise (licorice) flavoring.
The first pizzelle makers were made of iron, in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Legend goes that some poor blacksmiths of the region used old railroad nails and pieces of track to forge the irons, called “ferratelle,” referring to the ferrous metal. Because they were used over open fires, they had very long handles to keep the user from getting burned.
My sister and I grew up learning the art of pizzelle baking in the close-knit Italian community of Steubenville, Ohio. As fate would have it, Steubenville is also the hometown of Charles (Chip) DeMarco – inventor of the electric pizzelle iron (1956).
There was constant activity in our house to welcome the holidays each year. Our mother heated up the pizzelle iron on the gas stove and would hold the pizzelle iron over the heat for just minutes to produce golden crisp pizzelles and that distinct aroma of anise filled the air. The aroma would call us to the kitchen to sample these delicate & delicious pizzelles, which were devoured in minutes. Our mother’s face would beam with love as she skillfully produced stacks of these Italian cookies.
We enjoy our pizzelles so much that we’d like to make every day a holiday with Dolce Pizzelles. Our pizzelles are an updated version of the original. We took this old World tradition and developed a New World twist. We fill each pizzelle with a chocolate or a peanut butter filling, fold and then hand dip them in ambrosia chocolate. We offer a variety of toppings and flavors to satisfy the most discriminating taste. Baking is not just something we do but rather a part of who we are.