sunshine from the oven: lemon ricotta cookies

Today is full-on dinner party prep and new recipes are on the menu so new posts are in their draft stages.  I've rubbed 8 pounds of tri-tip this morning(it's an omnivore meal, yoga friends).  I baked a really pretty raspberry swirl angel food cake yesterday afternoon (angel food cake is super easy from scratch, really even if it did take me 14 eggs to get 12 pure egg whites, oops).  And as soon as Greg and I take a sunny and breezy walk (it's very pretty for January in Indy today), I'll start prepping brussel sprouts for a gorgonzola gratin.  I updated some Spotify playlists last night and our awesome Bose sound dock is ready to bump up the tempo in the kitchen.  May have to watch basketball on mute today.  First we will squeeze in a little post time.

Logically, today's post will have nothing to do with the dinner party we are hosting in 8 hours.  In my holiday haze I somehow never finished this post for some fabulous cookies discovered by my friend at work who also follows all things food on social media.  The lovely Amanda found this recipe from a New York Times cookie baking contest.  She had a hunch I would like them.  She was right!  Kelly and I baked them on Christmas Eve and somehow they never found their way into the back room at lululemon (i.e. we ate all of them that were not shared with family).  I might tweek them a bit and add lemon chips and a raspberry glaze next time and deliver them to Amanda so she can taste what all the fuss was about.  These cookies are pillows of lemony goodness.  So amazing.  Who would have thought of ricotta in cookies?  Some brilliant Italian grandmother of the winner apparently.  They suggested fresh ricotta, but I just used the part skim ricotta from Meijer.  I did have Meyer lemons for the lemon juice which was a little luxury (they are a bit sweet, try them).  Make the dough, chill it and bake away!  Winter is coming back to Indiana tomorrow.  Bake and glaze a little sunshine.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

1 C unsalted butter, softened
2 C sugar
1 3/4 C ricotta cheese (15 ounces)
finely grated zest of one lemon
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt

1 T unsalted butter
4 C confectioner's sugar
3 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 C milk, as needed

Using a stand or hand-held mixer, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add ricotta, lemon zest and vanilla and beat well.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Scrape down sides of bowl then beat in flour, baking soda and salt until well combined.  Dough will be soft.  Cover dough bowl and chill for at least 2 hours and up to a week (or be in a hurry and chill it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so).

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Shape tablespoons of dough into balls and place 2-inches apart on the lined sheets.  Bake until pale golden on the bottom, about 15 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.

Make icing by melting the tablespoon of butter.  Whisk confectioners' sugar to break up any large lumps then whisk in melted butter and lemon juice with enough milk to make a spreadable icing (start small, like 1/4 C milk).  Spread icing on cooled cookies and let set for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Four cups of flour makes a lot of cookies, around 6 dozen.

cookies on parchment just out of the oven

really pale on top, but flip them over and this sheet was almost overdone

guest glazer:  Kelly 



  1. Love anything lemon and these look like little pillows of goodness! Can't wait to bake them for my next family event :)


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