Best traditional venetian recipes: the zaletti cookies

Among the several traditional Venetian recipes, many are devoted to the art of cookies. Have you ever heard, for instance, about the Baicoli, the Esse or the Bussolà from Burano? We are sure that if you love Venice and biscuits, your answer will be surely yes. But do you know the famous Zaletti? Would you like to know the recipe? Thus follow us to the discovery of the king of the traditional Venetian biscuits…

These typical Venetian biscuits are called Zaletti because of their yellow colour due to the corn flour used for the dough (and which gives to the cookies a particular granulated and crumbly consistency). The recipe of the biscuits seems to be very old: apparently, also Goldoni in his comedies used to mention the zaletti. However, if we look for the first publication of the recipe, we must refer to the cookery book by Vincenzo Agnoletti published in 1803.

The traditional Venetian recipe by Agnoletti was with corn and wheat flour, butter, orange rind, yeast, sultana and almost ten hours to rise. The shape was a squared one and the surface covered in icing sugar.

Nowadays, the zaletti that you can see in the Venetian bakery shops or in the bars are very similar to the Agnoletti’s ones even if, sometimes, the shape can vary from place to place. But here is the Venetian cookies recipe:

Ingredients: 400 gr wheat flour, 600 gr corn flour, 300 gr sugar, 300 gr butter, orange or lemon rinds, sultana and a bit of grappa to make them softer, 2 eggs and a pinch of salt.

First of all you have to mix the two kinds of flours, butter, salt, sugar and the yeast. Then add the sultana (already softened by putting them a few hours in a glass of grappa), the eggs and the rinds keeping on kneading. If the dough is too tough, put the grappa that you have used for the sultana in it. Put the mix over a cutting table (2 cm thick) and cut it in lozenges. Put your Venetian biscuits in the oven for about half an hour at 180°. When ready, let them cool down and then add the ice sugar.

The traditional Venetian recepies are all very tasty and original: stay with us for further insights!