Lemon Ricotta

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A soft and creamy lemon cookie recipe with a strong lemon-flavored icing, perfect for a summer day!

Source: The handy-dandy Food Network site. This one was contributed by Giada De Laurentiis.

Yield: about 3-4 dozen

I’m going to start with an admission.  It’s a little embarrassing, but I’m just going to get it out of the way.  I don’t own a zester.  There, I said it.  It’s true.  I have no tools whatsoever for zesting lemons, oranges, limes, or the like.  People who bake a lot always have one, but people who make cookies for fun might not have one, so it’s clear which group I belong to.

A friend once told me that if I didn’t have a zester, I could use a vegetable peeler to take some of the zest off the fruit, then use a sharp knife to dice the zest very finely.  I will tell you right now that it is NOT the same thing.  But more on that later.

The recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 small carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese

3 T. lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2 1/2 cups flour

And the glaze:

3 T. lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together.  This part takes about 3 minutes of beating on medium speed, until the mixture is light and fluffy.

So pretty.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating each until incorporated.  Add in the ricotta, lemon juice, and zest, and mix well.  Stir in the dry ingredients.

This dough will look more like cake batter than cookie dough, but that’s ok!  Drop it by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Once the cookies cool, mix the glaze together and use it to frost the cookies.

Here’s the thing about those tiny little chunks of lemon zest.  They were fine in the cookies.  Kind of fun, even.  But they looked a little unsightly in the icing.  I didn’t mind eating them in the icing, because they actually kind of melted in your mouth.  I just didn’t love the look of them.  Plus, they made the icing have a really, really strong lemon flavor.

The glaze wasn’t nearly enough to cover all the cookies, you’ll probably want to double it at least.  In my second batch of icing, I left the zest out, and like that a lot better.  Plus, it gives me a reason to rationalize NOT running right out and buying a zester.

Actually, the un-glazed cookies were quite delicious by themselves.  I love the soft, spongy texture the ricotta gives to the cookie.  If you are one who doesn’t love strong tart flavors, you might want to serve your cookies without icing.  These cookies just seem like the perfect thing for a summer picnic!


2 thoughts on “Lemon Ricotta

  1. Pingback: Lemon Blueberry Cookies | Jen's Favorite Cookies

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