Monday, August 20, 2012

Tangy Treats: Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Do you ever try a recipe based on a hodgepodge of leftover ingredients?  Well, the Literate Baker certainly does.  Remember Last Hurrah Bars?  Exactly.  Sometimes the results are surprisingly delightful.  Such was the case with a recent surplus of ricotta cheese.

First, I had a surplus of ricotta cheese.  Second, I was in charge of making desserts for a 3-in-1 (housewarming plus some other exciting things) party.  Enter Google search for "ricotta cookies."  The very first search result was Giada De Laurentiis's Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze.  Wouldn't you know, I had a sack of lemons to use up as well.  With five stars and 700 reviews, I figured I had a winner.  Here's the recipe from the Food Network website:

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
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 about 2 hours. 
Literate Baker notes: I put the glaze in a zip-top bag/pastry bag and drizzled.  I think the result was both easier and prettier.

Here's the visual:

A most unusual batter.

I'm a fan of a mini ice cream scoop measure.

Moderate spread.

Definitely let the glaze dry!

These cookies were the hit of the party.  Even more than my brownies.  And my brownies are good.  Really good.  The cookies themselves were very soft and cakey.  The glaze was really tart, which was the perfect foil.  It sort of makes me want to buy some ingredients at random and then find/build recipes around them.  It's a great way to try something new and to...

Keep it sweet.

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