I am not Italian. I didn’t grow up eating Italian food but I absolutely love it, all of it. I lived in the North End of Boston, the Italian section, my first year out of college. For a whole year, I was surrounded by the smells of Italian bakeries and restaurants. My mouth watered every time I passed a bakery on my way to work in the morning. I was just out of college and could barely afford my overpriced apartment, so I didn’t have a chance to enjoy the restaurants, but I could enjoy the cookies and fresh breads from the many bakeries. My favorite Italian bakeries are Bova’s and Maria’s. If you are in Boston, head to the North End and check them out. You will not be disappointed! I recently found a recipe for Lemon Ricotta cookies by Giada De Laurentiis and decided to give them a shot. I have her cookbook, Everyday Italian ,which I love, so I had a feeling I would love these cookies as well. I was right! These cookies are light and refreshing. The crumb is super tender almost cake like. The lemon glaze adds a little sweetness but is not overpowering. I think this might be my new go to recipe for the holidays!I really crave citrus in the winter. I almost prefer it over chocolate. I know crazy! My will power over cookie dough is pretty strong most of the time, but this batter was hard to resist. I had to lick the spatula before it went into the dishwasher. The dough is sticky so I used a cookie scoop to get more even amounts of dough. Buy a cookie scoop! You get the same amount of batter every time so you’ll have uniform sized cookies, and it speeds up the whole process. Cute packaging is important when giving cookies and treats as gifts. I bought simple brown bakery boxes and red grosgrain ribbon. For more ideas or to shop check out this sweet online store. Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
recipe by Giada de Laurentiis
Makes about 3 dozen
For Cookies: 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
For Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
Directions: Preheat your oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and set aside. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat until fully incorporated . Stir in the dry ingredients. You can put the mixer on the lowest setting or stir by hand with a wooden spoon. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly golden at the edges. Start checking your cookies around 12 minutes. You don’t want to over bake! Remove baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 20 minutes.
To make the glaze: Stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl until smooth. Gently, spread about 1/2-teaspoon of glaze on each cookie. Allow the glaze to harden for about 2 hours. Cookies will last up in airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Enjoy!
5 Italian Desserts You Should Try!
Bubba and I went to Italy on our honeymoon 7 years ago. We ate a lot of gelato but I never tried anything like this dessert.
Do you like tiramisu? How about in cupcake form? Head here for the recipe.
I have never tried a zeppole but after looking at these photos from the Brown Eyed Baker, I think I might.
I love ricotta pie. This version is on my list of recipes to try very soon.
Need something light and refreshing after a heavy winter meal? Try Giada’s Lemon Ricotta Granita recipe.