This image courtesy of Charity Burggraaf

In my twenties, I fell head over heels for this Italian cookie. The very first zalettis I baked were much sweeter; this version is full of all the flavor I originally fell for, but sweetened with just a small amount of honey. I like to have these with my afternoon espresso.

Makes2 dozen cookies

Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert, snack

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealsnack, tea

Taste and Texturecrunchy, herby, sweet

Type of Dishcookie, dessert


  • 11 tablespoons (about 1 1/3 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups whole spelt flour, or 1 cup einkorn flour and ¾ cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 cup regular or coarse polenta
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon chopped dried rosemary
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dried currants or finely chopped dried sour cherries or raisins


  1. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. beat the butter and honey until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the egg, then the vanilla, beating well after each addition. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the Hour, polenta, baking powder, lemon zest, rosemary, and salt. With the mixer on the lowest speed, mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until a soft dough is formed. Fold in the currants. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour in a sealed container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. Pinch off golf ball-size amounts of the chilled dough and roll them into balls using the palms of your hands. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets and partially flatten each ball by pressing down gently with your hands. Bake until the cookies are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks or flattened paper bags to cool completely.


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