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Venetian Corn Cookies
Zaleti is the Venetian word for “Gialletti,” or “the little yellow ones.” These little yellow corn cookies from the Veneto area have a characteristic flattened diamond shape. Crunchy and soft at the same time, they are perfect to serve at tea time, or as a dessert with a glass of Recioto sweet wine or a shot of Grappa.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 1/2 cups (270 g) yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 (210 g) cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoon (165 g) unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup dark raisin
2 large eggs
grated zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Transfer cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Lightly knead the dough to obtain a smooth compound.
Mix thoroughly until fully combined.
Combine the butter, leaving the mixture cool and powdery.
Note: If using a a food processor, place the dry ingredients in the bowl fitted with a metal blade, and pulse. Add the butter cut into pieces, and pulse until mixed finely.
Lightly beat the eggs with the lemon zest and vanilla, and add them to the bowl.
Mix with a spatula until fully combined.
Transfer the crumbly dough to a lightly floured work surface.
Roll them into cylinders of about one inch diameter. Flatten slightly.
Divide the dough into four equal pieces.
Arrange the zaleti on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for about 15 minutes, until a light gold brown color. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.
Cut diagonally at about 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) intervals. Flatten the cookies about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick, making diamond shapes.
Flatten the dough with a rolling pin to about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick.
Cut the cookies into a diamond or round shape.