Raisin, Pine Nut, and Cornmeal Cookies

Zalletti

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes approximately

    2 dozen

Appears in

How to Cook Italian

How to Cook Italian

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2005

  • About

Yellow cornmeal inspired the name of these deliciously crunchy, chewy cookies–little yellow ones.” This recipe is from the Veneto region of Italy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

Method

  1. Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak until the raisins soften, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F on the regular bake setting.
  3. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and put it in the bowl of an electric mixer with the sugar. Beat on medium-high speed, preferably with the paddle attachment if you have one, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and mix until they are thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Drain the raisins. If you’ve been using the paddle attachment, add the raisins to the bowl along with the lemon zest and pine nuts; mix well. If you have been using a whisk, transfer the butter mixture to a medium bowl, add the raisins, lemon zest, and pine nuts, and mix thoroughly by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the cornmeal and flour and mix using the paddle or the wooden spoon until the dough is homogeneous.
  5. Transfer the dough to a counter, shape it into a ball with your hands, and flatten it into a thick disk. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and roll out the dough ¼ inch thick with a rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to make as many cookies as you can and place them at least inches apart on a nonstick cookie sheet or a silicone baking mat placed on a cookie sheet. Shape the remaining dough into a ball again and repeat until you have used up all the dough.
  6. Bake the cookies until golden, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note

You can make the dough 1 day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. Once baked, these cookies will keep for 3 to 4 days at room temperature.