For the Cookie Jar: Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I have a thing for lemon-ricotta pancakes. Tender and soft, fragrant and rich, almost a cross between cheesecake (ooh!) and breakfast—they make me a little weak. So when I saw this recipe for lemon ricotta cookies, I knew my walk home would include a stop at the cheese shop for the best ricotta in the neighborhood.

There’s nothing like a pile of lemon zest, a pool of vanilla extract, the oven warming up, and the whir of our new blue stand mixer to make an apartment feel cozy. And the scent of these cookies baking is even better.

For a moment, I considered skipping the glaze, but I’m glad I didn’t. It takes just a second to mix while the cookies are cooling, and it really is essential. In fact, these are better the day after you make them, when the zesty icing has had awhile to sink into the cookie, brightening up the flavor.

Don’t be afraid if these get a little crispy on the edges—in fact, that’s the best part. You shouldn’t take them out of the oven until they’ve gotten a little golden on the bottom.

12DaysCookies_badge-1These cookies were a hit at my office potluck, and they’re also my contribution to the Share Our Strength 12 Days of Sharing virtual cookie jar. My friend Jennifer at In Jennie’s Kitchen is hosting this virtual cookie swap for a good cause. Please consider making a donation—no matter how small—to end childhood hunger. You might even win one of these prizes.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 lemons, zested

For the glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients by hand.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then remove to a rack.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for 1-2 hours before transferring cookies to an airtight container.

Makes about 44 cookies.

In baking, citrus, cookies

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