May 12, 2018mayurisjikoni



Tomorrow is my best best best (note the x3 best) friend’s 60th birthday. Today a lunch was organized by her and her hubby for their friends, as she put it people that have made a difference in her life. I baked a orange saffron semolina cake for her. Well, not going to talk about the party but as I was sitting right across her, I admired how she was glowing in her pink outfit and I just couldn’t believe she is 60! Still very active, no aches and pains to complain about, a recent dazzling grandmother as she likes to call herself. Slim, confident, disciplined, a good singer, can make any party lively. We’ve been friends for the best 35 years, a good listener I can call on her any time of the day when I need her help.

I couldn’t help thinking how I will be when I reach 60 (which is in a few years). I’ll probably hobble to my party if I don’t take my health seriously. I can be well organized about a lot of other things but when it comes to taking exercise seriously I’m the most indiscipline person. I’m my health’s own enemy. Hubby reckons that I should stop blogging and then perhaps that time saved I will dedicate to my health. I recently watched a video about a 90 year old woman who can perform yoga poses without any difficulty. She started yoga at 60 and is so supple and fit. She reckons right now is the right time to begin, age should not be prevention.

Today’s recipe is Zaletti (I’m talking about health and here I present a sweet treat!!!) from the region of Veneto. Veneto is situated to the northeast of Italy. This region extends from the Dolomites to the Adriatic Sea. It’s a region that has extraordinary sceneries from the mountains to the lagoon. The famous city of Venice is situated in the lagoon of this region. Verona, where the setting for the Shakespearian play Romeo and Juliet is also in this region. I’ve had the opportunity to see both places which are breathtakingly beautiful, romantic and full of culture.

Veneto region has a wide cuisine, depending on which part of the region you are in. The people living in the mountainous region depend on meat while the coastal people have seafood. Veneto is an agricultural region with vineyards, orchards, maize fields, rice fields, vegetables like peas, radicchio and so many more. Its a region that makes polenta, risotto besides the normal pasta dishes.

Zaletti is a cookie from Veneto region made from yellow cornmeal with raisins and pine nuts added. They are usually enjoyed with some sweet sparkling wine. The word zaletti comes from the word gialletti which in Italian means the little yellow things. Zaletti gets its yellow colour from the cornmeal and egg yolks. The recipe that I followed had 2 eggs instead of one. This resulted in a batter that could not be rolled or shaped. So this recipe is more like drop cookies. However, they did turn out crispy and yet melt in them out kind of cookies. The raisins are usually soaked in rum or grappa. I soaked mine in some lemon syrup. These cookies have become one of my favorites, I managed to eat for of them as soon as they were cool enough to be eaten.(talk about discipline and health!)




Makes about 32 cookies

1 large yellow lemon

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp water

½ cup raisins

1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)

½ cup yellow cornmeal flour

3 tbsp pine nuts

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

125g butter, at room temperature

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp grated lemon rind or zest

  1. Grate the rind of the lemon, don’t grate the white part. Save the grated rind till required.
  2. Squeeze out the juice from the lemon. You should have about 2-3 tbsp.
  3. Mix water, 1 tbsp sugar and lemon juice. Heat it gently over low flame till the sugar melts.
  4. Add the raisins to the syrup and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  6. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper.
  7. Mix both the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  8. In another bowl, add butter and sugar. Whisk till it becomes soft and fluffy.
  9. Add one egg and whisk till the egg is incorporated into the mixture.
  10. Add the other egg and whisk.
  11. Add lemon rind and flour mixture. Whisk till its mixed properly.
  12. Remove excess liquid from the raisins and add to the batter. Add pine nuts too.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Take about a tablespoonful of the batter and drop it onto the prepared the tray.
  15. Make sure you leave some space between the dropped batter.
  16. Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the edges turn light golden brown.
  17. Remove the tray from the oven. The cookies will appear a bit soft, but will harden on cooling. Leave the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes.
  18. Remove the cookies from the tray and put them on a wire rack to cool.
  19. Store in an airtight container.


  • Use yellow cornmeal and not the white one.
  • Instead of lemon syrup soak the raisins in rum or grappa.
  • Dust the cookies with confectioner’s sugar before serving. I didn’t add any because it was too humid and the sugar would melt.
  • use a cookie scoop if you have one.

You may want to check out my other Italian bakes:

Blog post
pane siciliano
Blog post
maritozzi con la panna
Blog post
pane di zucca
mini pannettone

Sending this recipe to the following event:






  • Priya Suresh

    May 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Hope you had a fabulous birthday party with your best best best friend.. Zaletti looks absolutely delicious. Definitely an interesting find, and i love anything with citrus fruits in it. Lovely Zalettis there..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 13, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Priya, these cookies are really delicious with the added lemon.

  • Gayathri Kumar

    May 14, 2018 at 7:32 am

    It is better to give preference to health and it is better to do it now than tomorrow. The cookies look awesome, I guess because of the corn meal added and the pine nuts would add a nice crunch to them..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 14, 2018 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Gayathri…. have started on my yoga again, so hopefully will continue.

  • Casey

    May 17, 2018 at 12:29 am

    I have never heard of zaletti, but this looks absolutely delicious! I am definitely going to have to try this! I love lemon, so I think I am really going to enjoy this!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 17, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks Casey.

  • Lisa

    May 17, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Yum! These look great! Balance is hard but you can do it! And I so agree the best time to start is now!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 17, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      thanks Lisa.

  • Harini

    May 17, 2018 at 4:32 am

    I agree that friends are a necessary part of our lives. The cookies look awesome.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 17, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks Harini

  • Mervova Vladka

    May 17, 2018 at 11:55 am

    These Zaletti looks like a perfect fit for my son’s birthday party coming next week! can’t wait to make them.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 17, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks Mervova Please let me know how they turn out.

  • Alison Rost

    May 18, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Friends are amazing! I love that you guys have been friends for 35 years, I’m sure you’ve both been through a lot. I hope the party was awesome and that you were able to celebrate her 60th as memorable as possible. Those cookies are really lovely and I would love to give them a try!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      thanks Alison, good friends are difficult to come by and I’m glad I have one.

  • ainfanti15

    May 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    My mother in law makes these. I had no idea they were made with cornmeal. yummy!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      So now you know and thank you.

  • Heather

    May 18, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I have never heard of zaletti, but they sure sound delicious! I love pine nuts and lemon!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks Heather.


        May 28, 2018 at 12:51 am

        What ?

  • bluebowlsteph

    May 19, 2018 at 1:27 am

    This Zaletti looks so amazing! I love lemon flavor so that means I need to try these!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks Stephanie and please do try them.

  • April

    May 19, 2018 at 2:31 am

    These cookies look fantastic and sound good! I never heard of them but thanks for the history behind them.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      You’re welcome April.

  • Sondria

    May 19, 2018 at 4:42 am

    Tell your friend I said happy birthday and that I hope that I’m as lively as her in my 60s. As for the recipe it sounds delicious, I personally believe life is short and you should do what makes you happy. So if making delicious food makes you happy continue on sister.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks Sondria for the encouraging words. I’ll pass on your wishes to my friend.

  • Nisha Ramesh

    May 21, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Wow, that many years of friendship is just great! Hope you had a lovely party and these cookies are delicious. Now, I know what to do with my cornmeal. 🙂 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Yes, Nisha, that many years and still going strong. Try the cookies they very really delicious.

  • Srivalli Jetti

    May 23, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    While taking care of health is very important, it is equally important that we must do what we like. You obviously love writing this blog from the intros you write. I enjoy reading your notes you share. I am sure you know how to balance all the things life throw at us!..Nice to know you had a wonderful time at your friends’s party and have a lovely friend! These cookies sound very inviting!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 25, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you so much Srivalli. Its really satisfying when people take time to read what we write.

  • Renu

    May 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    This cookies are new to me…They look super duper yummy and delicious…….Bookmarking it…

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 25, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks Renu. Try them am pretty sure you’ll enjoy them.

  • Varada

    May 26, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Friends are a treasure indeed. Coming to the recipe, I love shortbread cookies and these look so good! Bookmarked.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 27, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you Varada. Yes friends are a treasure. Try the cookies they are really nice.

  • Sowmya:)

    May 27, 2018 at 7:30 am

    It is such a blessing to be friends over such a long time. Health is important and so is the blog….surely you can find a way to balance both. Lovely pick!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 27, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks Sowmya, yes I agree,trying to find a balance and glad to such a good friend.

  • themadscientistskitchen

    May 28, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hope you had a great birthday party with you 3 times best friend n hopefully you will not hobble to yours.
    I loved these cookies zaletti. Hearing about them for the first time.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 28, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Teehee Archana. Love the three times best friend, made me smile and working on a exercise regime so I don’t hobble to mine 🙂

  • farah

    June 1, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    another awesome selection of recipes for blogging marathon! loving every recipe of urs!…….love anything to do with lemon……..:)

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks Farah.. do try out these cookies you’ll love them.

  • cookingwithsapana

    June 12, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    So nice to read about your good time at your friend’s place. The cookies sounds like a wonderful treat to enjoy any ocassion or jut spend time with loved ones while having evening tea.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 15, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks Sapana.

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