Monday, January 25, 2010

Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies with a Lemon Glaze

Giada, it has been far too long.
How could I leave your cookbooks unopened when recipes like 'Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze' are just begging to be made?

Fortunately for us all, Giada's Kitchen was openend, Lemon Ricotta cookies were made, and my future with Giada looks bright.

Now about these cookies... I love these lemon-glazed lemon cookies. They are just brimming with sunshiney-lemony flavor. And I think of these as 'fancy' cookies. The ricotta gives the cookies a slightly cakey texture, and the lemon glaze looks and tastes great. So, if you are looking for a cookie that is easy to make, but a touch fancier than regular cookies... these are a ringer.

Nothing about these cookies is difficult. Thank you, Giada.

Start with a lemon assembly line. Zest a lemon.
Roll that lemon to release its juice and juice it. And juice more lemons until you get 3 tablespoons (this took me 1 1/2 lemons).
Now, mix your dry ingredients together: flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, combine your room temperature butter and sugar.
Mix that for at least 3 minutes.
Now, add your eggs in one at a time.

Next up: add in your ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix that up.
It will not be smooth.
Now, put down your mixer and grab a spatula. You want to mix the dry ingredients in by hand: this way you don't run the risk of overmixing your batter and ending up with dense, chewy cookies.
Mix just until everything is incorporated.
Leaving some room between each cookie, you want to spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie onto parchment lined baking sheets.
(Just a hint: if you have a 2 tablespoon coffee scoop, use it. I have a 2 tablespoon coffee scoop. It would have been perfect... except I totally forgot I had it.)

Bake until the edges are just golden brown. The top of the cookies won't brown, so the edges are all you have to go by.
Now, let those cool for at least 20 minutes on the baking sheet. After they have cooled, you can move them to a wire rack. You should probably put some parchment under the rack (to catch any runaway glaze).
For the glaze, you need to zest another lemon and get 3 more tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Stir that together with some powdered sugar.
And, there you have it: simple as can be lemon glaze. See how easy it is to make things fancy?
A note on the glaze: you want the glaze to be spreadable, so if it is too stiff, feel free to add some water. If it runs down the side of the cookies, that isn't a problem. You put that parchment paper under the rack, why not use it, right?

Get out a 1/2 teaspoon. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of glaze onto your cookie.
And use the back of the teaspoon to spread the glaze.
Let the glaze harden for 2 hours.
And then... enjoy!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze (from Giada's Kitchen)
Makes 44 cookies

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese (at room temperature, if you think about it)
Zest of 1 lemon*
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, 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 zest, and lemon juice. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets using about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. 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.

While they cool, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth.*** Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cooled cookie and use the back of the spoon to spread it to the edges. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies in an airtight container.

*For this recipe, you need the zest of 2 lemons and a total of 6 tablespoons of lemon juice. I was able to get that amount from 3 lemons, but I would have 4 or 5 lemons on hand just to be on the safe side.
**When I made these in Colorado 15 minutes was perfect. But this time in California, it took more like 17-18 minutes. I think having all the ingredients at room temperature, should help keep the baking time around 15 minutes.
***If the glaze feels stiff and unspreadable, add a little water until it is the right consistency.

1 comment:

  1. Looks very tasty! Going to make them for my cookie swap Saturday... too bad you ladies can't come participate.