Zaletti Biscotti

Venetian Cookies for Carnevale

Zaletti Biscotti

These small diamond-shaped cookies are a tradition at Carnevale, a final celebration in the winter to eat, drink and be merry before the restrictions of Lent.

Zaletti are a rustic, crunchy corn meal cookie from the Veneto region in northeastern Italy. The secret ingredient in the recipe is polenta, yellow corn flour. Delicate little biscotti, buttery and sweet with a scent of orange, take their name from the word zalo in the Venezian dialect meaning giallo, yellow – hence through the years, they were known as zalleti.

Recipe makes approximately 24 cookies.

Difficulty: Intermediate Best Season: Suitable throughout the year



  1. Preparing

    In a cup, soak the golden raisins in the Grappa, Cognac or Brandy, your choice of liqueur.

    Next, cream the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla bean or extract with an electric mixer until creamed.

    In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of sea salt. Add the flour, polenta and baking powder and the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar. Add the raisins, liqueur, and orange zest fold them into the mixture.

    Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  2. Baking

    Preheat the oven to 325F. Remove the dough from the fridge.

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a clean workspace with a dusting of flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and divide the dough in half. Roll into a 1 3⁄4 inch diameter log then cut into slices about 3/4 of an by 2 1/2 inch and form into a diamond. Place on the cookie sheet spacing them apart.

    Bake for 10 to 15 minutes - keeping your eye on them and rotating the pans. Once golden brown, remove and let cool. 

  3. Enjoy!

    Serve with Vin Santo, sweet wine, a creamy cappuccino or deep dark caffè.

Keywords: biscotti
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