Monday, March 12, 2012

Lemon-Ricotta Cookies

Before we jump right into talking about these fabulous cookies, can we all take a moment to admire my gorgeous china? I know the focus is supposed to be on the food here, but I am seriously in love with my china and these are the first food photos I've taken with it! In case you're wondering, my pattern is by Noritake and it's called Platinum Wave. I just love the silver swirls... it's a classic pattern that is feminine without being overly girly, and the delicate porcelain was so perfect for these lemon tea cookies that I couldn't resist photographing on it!

I think every girl deserves to have a beautiful set of china, and to drink tea and eat delicate, scrumptious cookies off of that beautiful china. I mean, what happens if the Queen stops by in the middle of the afternoon wanting tea? Certainly, you wouldn't dream of serving her with your silly old everyday cups and plates. And you wouldn't serve her any old cookies either! But don't worry, I've totally got you covered... if the Queen ever made a random stop by my house, these are definitely the cookies I'd want to have on hand.

Something as light and aromatic as tea demands a cookie equally as delicate, and these totally fit the bill. These cookies are light and fluffy, almost more like a muffin top than a cookie, and are perfect for dipping. They're also wonderfully sweet, with a bright lemony flavor that hints of spring. These little guys are perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up, when you need a little caffeine and sugar to get you through.

So if you ever needed an excuse to have a teaparty, here you go! Invite your girlfriends over, break out your pretty china, and pretend you're 4 years old again (and if you feel like dressing up in your mom's old gawdy clothes, I won't judge). And if the Queen stops by, you'll be adequately prepared!

Lemon-Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
from Giada's Kitchen
yields about 36 cookies

For Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
one 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 1 to 1 1/2 lemons)

For Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 1 to 1 1/2 lemons)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice,  and beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
4. Spoon the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart, using about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. (I used a small cookie scoop and had good results.) 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.
5. While the cookies 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 cookie and use the back of the spoon to spread it to the edges. Allow the glaze to harden for about 2 hours before  packing into an airtight container.


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