Italian Ricotta and Lemon Cookies

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love that the sweet equals the tart.
I love the cakey center and the crunchy crust.
You are irresistible and please the crowds.
You are Italian, so you are a cookie after my own heart.
You gladden the heart of my brother, Charles, too.
For that, I will continue to make you all the days of my life.

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RECIPE TIPS

Mise en Place:
There is a fancy cooking term called, mise en place (me-zahn-plahs)It means to “put into place” which in the kitchen means to measure all the ingredients ahead of time so they are ready to go when you start cooking. I’m frequently in a rush and don’t bother to do this extra step, but today, I decided to give it a try. It was so calming! I plan to make this a regular practice.
ricotta lemon cookies

How to Zest and Juice a Lemon for your Mise en Place:
As part of my mise en place strategy, I did all the prep work on my lemons first. I used a fine-holed Microplane grater to zest the lemon peel. Adding lemon zest to batter is a great way to add intense flavor to whatever you are making. Be careful not to grate past the yellow peel as the white pith below it is bitter.
ricotta lemon cookies

Next, slice the lemons in half and squeeze the juices out using a lemon squeezer.
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You could make your own ricotta using this recipe: How to Make Whole Milk Ricotta. It is surprisingly easy.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Yield:  4 dozen

Ingredients:
ricotta lemon cookies
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs (a large egg equals 2 ounces, do not use xl eggs)
15-ounces whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of one 4-5 oz lemon)

Glaze:
1½ cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of one 4-5 oz lemon)

Mise en Place:

ricotta lemon cookies

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 375º

2) Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, lightly grease the baking sheets with canola oil.

3). In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for two minutes. Beat for two full minutes as this will incorporate air into the batter which will make for a lighter cookie.
ricotta lemon cookies

4) Add eggs and beat for 30 seconds.

ricotta lemon cookies

5) Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and ricotta and beat for one minute on medium speed. Be sure to use a spatula to incorporate the ingredients that have settled onto the bottom of the mixing bowl into the batter.

ricotta lemon cookies

6) Add the flour, baking powder and salt mixture and stir (the lowest speed on a mixer) for a minute. Do not overmix or whip. We don’t want to awaken the gluten in the flour, so the batter becomes elasticky. We want the cookies to have a cake-like texture.

7) Use a tablespoon to drop the cookie dough onto the pan. Use about one heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie.

ricotta lemon cookies

8) Bake for 15-20 minutes. After 10 minutes of cooking, rotate your cookie sheets in the oven. Cookies are done when the bottom edges just start to darken.

ricotta lemon cookies

Leave cookies on the pan to cool for 10 minutes. Peel cookies off the parchment paper and place directly on a wire cooling rack so the bottoms can air dry and become crisp.

Mise en Place for Glaze:

1) Mix together powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir.

ricotta lemon cookies
2) When cookies are cool, use a knife to spread a thin layer of glaze over each one. Let glaze harden for at least three hours before stacking.

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Most Popular Holiday Recipes:

Grandma’s Italian Fried Cauliflower

 

 

 

Baked Ziti with Eggplant

 

 

Cranberry and Hot Pepper Jelly Brie Bites

 

 

Mrs. Walker’s Cranberry Nut Pie

 

 

Italian Sesame Seed Cookies

 

 

My Favorite Rollout Butter Cookies

 

 

Mary’s Award-Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

How to Fold A Tree-Shaped Napkin

 

 

Check out Holiday on the MENU for more recipes.

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28 thoughts on “Italian Ricotta and Lemon Cookies

  1. They look so,good, I think I will make these tomorrow for Christmas. My mom loved these. I found her recipe and they are nearly the same. Thanks for making me think of my mom.

  2. Just finished making this — fabulous! I got lots more than 4 dozen so happy didn’t have to make it twice. My neighbors will go wild about the fact it’s not chocolate around the holidays. Thanks!!

    1. So thrilled to read this, Ginger! You are the first person who has written to say you made them and they turned out “fabulous-ly”. Makes me smile! Have a great rest of the day and Merry Christmas to you! xo

  3. Made these yesterday and they are super yum! Easy and a nice change of pace from the average cookie. Have shared your blog with this recipe with a few folks already 🙂

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