serves: 3 1/2 dozen
These cookies are moist and delicious and simple to assemble. In Italian cuisine, ricotta seems to be able to reappear deliciously in every course. Since it is a by-product of making cheese, the shepherds had plenty of ricotta. Hence, many desserts are still made from it, like these delicious cookies.
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
8 ounces fresh ricotta, drained
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
for the glaze
2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, and set aside.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the sugar and butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, and crack in the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Plop in the ricotta, vanilla, and lemon zest, and beat to combine. Add the flour mix, and beat on low until just combined, but do no overmix.
Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheets. Place in oven, and bake, rotating pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are puffed, golden, and cooked all the way through, about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool on wire racks.
When the cookies are completely cool, make the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice to make a smooth glaze. Adjust the consistency with a little water or more confectioners’ sugar to make the glaze thick enough to stick to the cookies when dipped. Hold each cookie with two fingers, then dip the top of the cookies in the glaze and let dry on racks until all are done. Let dry for 2 hours before storing.