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Zaleti (Cormeal, pine nut and raisin cookies)

  • 40 minutes
  • Medium
  • Desserts and Fruit
Zaleti are a traditional cookie from the Veneto region. They are often enjoyed together with a glass of sparkling, aromatic wine like Prosecco della Valdobbiadene. Their intense and refined aroma are sure to win you over.
Veneto

Ingredients: Per 5 servings

  • ¾ lb cornmeal
  • 3 ½ oz sugar
  • ½ lb all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz butter
  • 3 oz raisins
  • 2 ½ oz pine nuts
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, fresh
  • 1 pinch vanilla
  • lemon zest, grated

Preparation:

Mix the two kinds of flour with the yeast, and the butter with sugar. Add the raisins, previously soaked in warm water, the pine nuts, milk, grated lemon zest and vanilla, to make a stringing mixture.

With your hands, shape the mixture into small oval cakes about 3.2 inches long. Place them onto a lightly buttered baking sheet in a hot oven. Cooking time is generally 20-25 minutes, but it can vary according to the size of the “zaleti”.

Food History

Zaleti, a rustic type of cookie once served during the Carnival season, are now available year round. Like all rustic, farmhouse recipes, zaleti can be prepared in many ways. Each peasant wife had her own and would prepare the cookies using the ingredients she had available. The peculiar characteristic of these cookies in their yellow color, which is due to the corn flour – an ingredient present in all of the farmhouses in centuries past – used in the batter. Carlo Goldoni mentions the cookies in his 1749 book “La Buona Moglie” during an conversation between the main characters, one of which describes the zaleti as an inexpensive product, indirectly confirming its humble origins.

Did you know that...

These cookies are called zaleti due to their yellow color? “Zaleti” means “little yellow things” in the Veneto dialect.

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