Zaletti – Italian Cornmeal Cookies

These small cookies are a delightful afternoon snack and pair well with coffee or tea. The cornmeal adds a slightly grittier texture than pure flour, making them an interesting change of pace from all-flour cookies.

Serving size

3 cookies


42 cookies

Prep time: 30min
Cook time: 15min
Total: 45min


¾ cup currants, dried

¼ cup boiling water

3 tablespoons grappa or brandy

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup polenta, instant or fine

½ cup sugar, granulated, plus more for garnish

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

½ cup (4-ounces) butter, unsalted, melted and cooled

1 lemon zest, finely grated


Special Equipment:

Electric mixer

2 baking sheets lined with parchment

Nutrition Info

Makes: 42 cookies  Serving size: 3 cookies




8 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Trans Fat

<1 g


44 mg


32 g


12 g


1 g


3 g


132 mg


34 mg


65 mg


110 mg


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Place the currants in a small heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water and grappa over them, and stir to combine. Set aside for currants to plump and cool.
  3. Combine the flour, polenta, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Beat on low speed of an electric mixer for 30 seconds to combine.
  4. Whisk together the egg and egg yolk in a medium bowl.
  5. Add the cooled melted butter and lemon zest. Whisk to combine
  6. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
  7. Add the currants and their liquid. Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  8. Remove the dough from the bowl.
  9. Flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 1 hour.
  10. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray).
  11. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and shape each into a small log about 1½ inches long.
  12. Press the log down to flatten it and pinch the ends together to form a diamond shape.
  13. Place the diamonds on the baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies lightly with granulated sugar.
  14. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown around the edges.
  15. Cool on a wire rack.
  16. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Recipe contributed by FamilyCook Productions

This recipe makes quite a few small cookies. You can easily freeze them in an airtight container and enjoy later.