Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lemon Icing & Baby Elephants

Last week I wanted to make some lemon muffins. I didn't know it would be hard to find a recipe for what was in my head . . . something lemony with fresh ginger and a glazed topping. I bought the ginger, picked some lemons, and didn't find a recipe I was crazy about so I ended up basing my muffins off the recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I didn't follow it exactly (added zest, fresh ginger, substituted the lemon yogurt in the recipe with plain) but the ratio of wet to dry ingredients seemed off and the muffins were almost like biscuits or scones and not the muffin texture I was looking for.

I was going to put the recipe on here, but honestly, with the lack of flavor, bad texture, all that white flour - they weren't worth it. Don't get me wrong . . . we still ate the whole batch . . . but I won't make them again and you probably don't want to.

Then, we went to visit our friends in Escondido and Lori made the most amazing lemon cookies ever! Forget muffins . . . these Lemon Ricotta cookies are what you want to make. Waiting for them to cool before glazing them seemed to work well (I only observed. And ate. And ate.) and the glaze was divine. My husband was trying to come up for other glaze delivery options (can we put it on waffles? on bread? can we make a little well in the top of the cookie and fill it with glaze?)

So, these are what you should make. Right now. Step away from the computer and go buy some ricotta cheese.

Thanks again to Lori for a wonderful weekend. Other than her hospitality, getting to catch up and relax, and our adorable children, a highlight for me was seeing a 3 day old baby elephant at the Wild Animal Park. This is the 3 month old one:

Lemon Ricotta Cookies (makes about 3 dozen)
Recipe from Giada deLaurentis

For the cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375. 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 before glazing.

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.

Giada says to wait about TWO HOURS to let the glaze harden, but if you're like me, just eat them warm with the glaze on them.


  1. PS - the texture of the lemon cookies reminded me a lot of my grandma's yellow cookies that I posted about in February

  2. I made these last Easter...aren't they fantastic! I got rave reviews on them. And I just bought some ricotta at the store today. I just might have to make them again...and don't worry, if I do, I will definitely share! : )

  3. Funny - I thought "yellow cookies" as I was reading.
    Here's a tip - next time you are in Monrovia stop by the bakery on the east side of the street with the yellow striped awnings. For one, its run by the sweetest little old ladies. For two - they make a lemon cupcake that is perfect, just perfect. Somethings are just better left to sweet little old ladies. - your mom

  4. So how was walking around the park preggors? Tiring? ;)