Best Venetian Cornmeal and Currant Cookies (Zaletti) Recipe - How to Make Venetian Cornmeal and Currant Cookies (Zaletti)

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Fine cornmeal streamlines a basic, delicately crunchy Italian treat
Milk Street Bowtie Venetian Cornmeal and Currant Cookies (Zaletti)

Venetian Cornmeal and Currant Cookies (Zaletti)

30 minutes 10 minutes active

Venetian Cornmeal and Currant Cookies (Zaletti)

Free

Zaletti are buttery, crisp Italian cornmeal cookies studded with raisins or currants. The dried fruit usually is first plumped in grappa, a fiery Italian brandy, but we opted instead to use orange liqueur for its more nuanced flavor. We then upped the citrus notes with grated orange zest. The cooled cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

40

cookies

Tip

Don’t use coarsely ground cornmeal or polenta. Their rough texture will result in crumbly, rather than crisp, cookies.

30 minutes

10 minutes active

75 g (½ cup) dried currants
3 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, softened
107 grams (½ cup) white sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
½ cup (73 grams) fine yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
195 grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour
Ingredients
  • 75

    g (½ cup) dried currants

  • 3

    tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau

  • 12

    tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, softened

  • 107

    grams (½ cup) white sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon grated orange zest

  • ½

    cup (73 grams) fine yellow cornmeal

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1
  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

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Venetian Cornmeal and Currant Cookies (Zaletti)

Get Ready to Cook

40

cookies

30 minutes

10 minutes active

Tip

Don’t use coarsely ground cornmeal or polenta. Their rough texture will result in crumbly, rather than crisp, cookies.

Ingredients
  • 75

    g (½ cup) dried currants

  • 3

    tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau

  • 12

    tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, softened

  • 107

    grams (½ cup) white sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon grated orange zest

  • ½

    cup (73 grams) fine yellow cornmeal

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1
  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

Step 1 of 3

Simmer the currants and orange liqueur

75
g (½ cup) dried currants
3
tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau

Heat the oven to 350°F with racks in the upper- and lower-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets with kitchen parchment. In a small saucepan over medium, bring the currants and orange liqueur to a simmer. Cover, remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 2 of 3

Make the dough

12
tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, softened
107
grams (½ cup) white sugar
1
tablespoon grated orange zest
½
cup (73 grams) fine yellow cornmeal
¼
teaspoon table salt
1
large egg yolk
1
teaspoon vanilla extract
195
grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Beat in the zest for about 30 seconds.


Mix in the cornmeal, salt, egg yolk and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and mix on low until incorporated, another 30 seconds, then mix in the currants and their liquid.

Step 3 of 3

Bake the cookies

Form the dough into 1-tablespoon balls (each about 1 inch in diameter) and space evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Using your hand, flatten each to a 2-inch round about ¼ inch thick.


Bake until golden brown at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes, switching and rotating the sheets halfway through. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

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