Italian Cookies: Zaletti (Baking with Julia – Nick Malgeri)


Zaletti are cornmeal cookies are a specialty of Venice but are also found throughout the Veneto region which is in northeastern Italy. I have always been a huge fan of recipe from the classic cookbook – Baking with Julia.  This recipe is so simple and quick to make.  I just love the amazing crumbly texture.  They are one of the lowest fat and sugar cookies I’ve ever made.


  • 1 cup of AP flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal (stone ground if you can find it)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 whole egg + 1 yolk (I have added 2 tablespoons of orange juice because dough looked too dry)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of currants

Measure flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder in large mix bowl and set aside for later. In another smaller mixing bowl, put in egg + yolk, vanilla and zest of a lemon and slightly beat and set aside.

Rub butter with dry flour mixture. Then add currants. Mix until eventually distributed. Pour in the egg mixture to flour + butter mixture. Use spatula to mix until you can just form a dough.

Slightly flour the work surface and turn the dough out and slightly knead the dough until you for dough ball.

Roll in long log and cut in half. Set one half side and continue roll out the half log to 1/2 inch thinner log. Slight press down to flatten the log and then cut into small diamond shape.

Bake in 350F oven for 12 minutes until slightly golden brown

Highly recommend you follow this video from PBS to learn the whole process. The chef Nick Malgeri introduce a lot of useful tips!


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