November 27, 2011

Watertown, MA. December, 2010

Little yellow things. That’s what these cookies are called in the Venetian dialect of Italian: zaleti. How do I know all this? I learned it from my friend Nick’s Great Italian Desserts book, the zaleti page of which carries the smears and other marks of honor that bear witness to my having made this recipe more times than I can count. Of course, my results for these Venetian cornmeal diamonds may not have the professional finish that Nick’s do (as he’ll be happy to remind me) but no one (else) seems to mind. I make them at Christmas time. I make them in summer. I make them when friends request them for their birthdays. All the time. Cornmeal, flour, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, salt, baking powder, raisins or currants. Nick’s recipe is all over the internet (search: zaleti nick malgieri) and is foolproof, yielding terrific cookies every time. Make a lot because everyone likes them (even the many internet bloggers who’ve lifted Nick’s recipe uncredited), so they tend to disappear quickly. And if you want to see how a professional does it, go to Nick’s website, click on "Videos" and watch him make them with Julia Child. She liked them, too.

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