Monday, October 15, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

For those of you who are regular readers, you may remember that I made these delicious Pecan Turtle Black Cocoa Brownies to bring to my mom and sister up in NJ last month when I visited. Well, my mom informed me on that trip that she now prefers lemon desserts to chocolate ones. Since I'm such an awesome daughter, I made her these lemon ricotta cookies when I went up to visit this weekend. I don't bake with lemon very often during the fall or winter, but these actually really hit the spot among all of the heavy fall and pumpkin related baking I've been doing.

While the main reason for my visit to NJ was my sister Annie's 25th birthday, the weekend happened to coincide with a really fun event in my sister's town called Boozin' for Boobs. As the name suggests, it's a bar crawl that raises money for breast cancer charities. I'm not sure how healthy daytime drinking of hot pink-dyed Bud Light is for my own personal cancer risk, but it was a ton of fun, and raised money for an excellent cause. 

Annie and me at the bar crawl. Happy birthday darling seester! 

Boozin' For Boobs

Before making these, I'd never made cookies that contained ricotta cheese, so I wasn't sure what to expect. These don't taste like ricotta, so I think it's probably there for the moisture and richness. The cookie portion of this recipe reminds me of one of those big black and white cookies you can get at an Italian deli or bakery. They are moist and soft, and almost like miniature cakes. The glaze has the perfect amount of lemon flavor and tartness, and turns these cookies from something ordinary into something delicious. 

As you can see, I couldn't wait until my cookie photo shoot was over to sample the goods. 

Here's what you'll need for about 4 dozen cookies:

For the cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons

For the glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (Do not use organic or natural powdered sugar as it will turn the glaze gray)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in ricotta, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and beat until combined.

Stir in dry ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop cookies onto the baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each. Store the leftover dough in the refrigerator between batches.

Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, until no longer wet on top and not yet golden around the edges. Mine took exactly 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the glaze, stir together all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour a scant teaspoon of glaze on top of each cookie, and let the glaze harden for at least 2 hours before storing. Cake-like cookies like these have a tendency to get soggy if stored in an airtight container. I kept mine in a tupperware container with layers of waxed paper between each stack of cookies. I just rested the lid on top, and didn't press it shut it completely, which worked great. I recommend enjoying these within a day or two of baking them. 

Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


  1. I'm not usually a lemony baked good person...but these loook yummy enough to try!

  2. What an interesting and delicious-sounding cookie. Love all the lemon!


  3. I. love. lemon. desserts.

    These cookies look amazing! Soft, cake-like cookies are probably my favorite kind. Must try!

  4. I've had these Giada cookies saved for FOREVER. I was so excited to see you tried them out first :) I will have to try now!

    1. Yay! Do it! I doubled the lemon from Giada's version, so if you really like lemon I suggest doing the same!

  5. I totally need to figure out a way to convert these to gluten-free! Giada also has a really good recipe for muffins that are made with lemon and ricotta. They're awesome, so I'm sure these cookies are as well :)


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