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Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze: "What's On My Cookie Plate"

Posted Dec 18 2010 12:37am
We are answering the question, "What's On Your Cookie Plate?" this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and I selected the Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze from "Giada's Kitchen." Being a huge lemon fan, I have had these cookies tagged to make for a while now--liking the sound of the puffy tea cake-like texture and the tangy lemon icing on top. They are not an obvious choice for a holiday cookie plate, but they are delicious and great for a little something refreshing and different.

Giada describes them as, "More cakey than crispy, these ladylike little tea cakes puff up as they bake, almost like little muffin tops. The lemon glaze on top adds a tart, crunchy layer."

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
"Giada's Kitchen" by Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 44 Cookies)

Cookies2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (I used low fat)
3 Tbsps lemon juice
1 lemon, zested (I used zest from 1 1/2 lemons)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsps lemon juice
1 lemon, zested (I used zest from 1 1/2 lemons)

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. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Notes/Results: Not your typical cookie but really tasty. They turned out so soft, moist and pillowy--definitely like the cross between tea cakes and muffin tops Giada describes. The lemon in the cookies is present but mellow so you will want to add the glaze for the tart-sweet combination that takes these from good to great. The only changes I made were to use a part-skim ricotta (why not save a few calories where you can), and since I had to use 3 lemons to get enough juice for both the cookies and the glaze, I divided the extra lemon zest between the two. (since so much of the flavor of the lemon comes from the oils in the zest--it would be a crime to waste it) My glaze was a little runny, so I did add some extra powdered sugar (about another 1/4 cup), to get it to the texture I wanted. There will be plenty of extra glaze, which with all the flavor from the fresh lemon juice and zest makes it good enough to eat with a spoon. (Not that I would do that of course!) ;-)

These cookies were hard to stop eating so to get some of them out of the house, I packed up a plate for my neighbor who loved them too. Having that tea cake texture made them perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea. My current holiday tea of choice is Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, which smells and tastes like freshly baked sugar cookies and made a great pairing with the lemon cookies. I will make these cookies/tea cakes again.

You can see what the other IHCC participants put on their cookie plates by going to the post here and following the links.
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