Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I make a lot of cookies. It's no secret to anyone that I love the sweet stuff. But I really like making cookies more than I like eating them, which has become a slight problem for my family because I make cookies about three times a week and I just leave them in mom's kitchen to be eaten by everyone else but me. Sure, I'll have a taste of each one I make, but half the time I don't even know if they really taste that good until someone tells me. But then there are these lemon ricotta cookies. I love them. I love them so much, I might even say that they're my favorite cookie, and that's saying alot. I had almost forgotten about them completely until I woke up this morning with a serious hankering for them. And when I get a hankering for something, I have to have it, and I have to have it soon. So I ran up to the store for some ricotta and lemons, and now, three cookies later, I'm completely satisfied. Yum yum yummy. There's really no other way to describe these cookies.

Have you ever had ricotta cheese? It looks sort of like smooth cottage cheese, but the comparisons stop there. It doesn't taste like much on it's own, in fact it's downright bland is what it is. But it does something to these cookies that make them so crazy delicious, they're like a drug. They are really soft and chewy and have an almost cake like texture. So if you've never used ricotta, or just don't like it, try this recipe anyway. I promise you won't be sorry. These things are seriously delicious.

I really wish I could claim this recipe as my own, but since I wouldn't have any clue on how to make a cookie without a recipe, I can't. I got this from the always wonderful Giada. Look it up on the Food Network website for a printable recipe.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze, courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (please don't even think about using "light" or "fat free" ricotta...these are cookies, not diet food)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 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.
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 about 2 hours.

I had some seriously humongous lemons, so I only used about 3/4 of the lemon zest from one lemon, and my cookies turned out to have the perfect amount of lemony flavor. But if you're really into lemon, go ahead and add as much zest as you want. I also ate two cookies before I got around to topping them with the glaze, and they were pretty dang delicious. But the glaze really makes them stand out, so don't skimp.

Now hurry off to the store for ricotta and lemons and get to baking. You need these cookies in your life. Seriously.

1. A fully charged camera/phone/ipod/what-have-you
2. for having all seasons of "Lost" available to watch for free.
3. Dry roasted peanuts.
4. "Never Ending Song of Love" by Delaney and Bonnie
5. Clean, dry, and folded laundry.

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