Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lucado and Lemon-Ricotta Cookies

On a semester basis our church offers small groups for women, men, married couples, young adults, activity groups, etc...there's something for everyone!  These Growth Groups offer small environments (about 5-16-ish people depending on the group) for people to study the Bible, learn, grow, fellowship, pray for one another, and build relationships.  I decided to join the same "group" of ladies as last semester, although we are doing a different study and have welcomed a couple new gals.  This semester, we're reading Max Lucado's Out Live Your Life.  Our first get-together of this study was this Tuesday, and we got together to just hang out, get to know the new girls (and more of each other), and EAT!  We had an Italian-themed dinner, and I was assigned "dessert".  Mmmmm...where do I turn when I need an Italian dessert recipe?...Giada De Laurentiis of course!  Quick Bio:  She's an Italian-American chef who studied to become a pastry chef in Paris, one of my favorite Food Network chefs, and she's gorgeous!

I didn't want to make something heavy or rich, and these cookies are neither.  They are sweet and refreshing, and satisfy that need for something sweet with just one cookie.  The word "cookie" is a little deceiving because these are unlike any cookie I've eaten before.  They are soft, spongy, and cake.  Matt was bummed I took some leftovers to the girls at Vision House today, because I "never make cookies".  Needless to say, he really liked them...and apparently I need to bake more cookies!

- Lemon-Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze -
What You Need:
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

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

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.

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. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

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