Cornmeal-Raisin Cookies

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    4 dozen


Appears in

The name zaletti is dialect, derived from the word giallo or “yellow.” It comes from the use of yellow cornmeal in the cookie dough. According to Emilio Baldi, who operates Enoteca Vino Vino in Venice, all of the best Venetian cookies are dry and profit from being dipped in a glass of dessert wine such as Torcolato or Malvasia, or a glass of warm zabaglione.


  • cups plus 1 tablespoon fine-grind yellow cornmeal
  • cups plus 3 tablespoons (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup raisins, plumped in hot water


In a bowl, sift together the cornmeal, cups plus 1 tablespoon flour, and the salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended. Drain the raisins and toss them in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Fold the raisins into the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter 2 baking sheets.

Divide the dough in half. Place half of the dough on a floured work surface and, using your palms, roll into a log about 8 inches long and inches in diameter. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cut the logs into rounds about inch thick, and arrange the rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until pale gold, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.