Italian Cookies Recipe

ZALETI: Italian Polenta Cookies



  • ¾ cup dried cranberries 
  • ¼ cup brandy 
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (1½ sticks) 
  • 2/3 cup sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • Zest of one tangerine (or corresponding amount of orange or lemon) 
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


In a small bowl, soak the dried cranberries in brandy for about an hour or until plump.

You can omit the brandy and use apple cider or even water to moisten the cranberries instead. The kids won’t miss it, though I might.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.

Beat in the egg, vanilla, and tangerine zest.

Stir in the dry ingredients along with the raisins and any remaining liquid.

Cover and chill until firm enough to handle, about an hour.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness somewhere between ¼- and ½-inch.

Using a sharp paring knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into diamond shapes and set on cookie sheets.

Bake about 15 minutes or until zaleti are lightly browned around the edges.

Let cool on rack. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.




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