Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I had a bunch of ricotta left over from making lasagna the other day, and since I can never let things like that go to waste, I decided to try to make cookies out of it. Lemon-flavored cookies, since lemon is always the flavor of spring for me, and we’re finally starting to get some nice weather here! These cookies mainly get their lemon flavor from the glaze, as the lemon zest in the cookie itself is pretty subtle, but the ricotta makes them almost like tiny soft cakes, rather than cookies. They also freeze well (unglazed) if you find yourself with extra ricotta but no immediate need for dessert.

I will note that you absolutely cannot scoop your batter any larger than a level tablespoon– if you do, it’ll spread out to make flat, pancake-like cookies rather than nice plump little bites. It makes baking take forever, since they do spread a bit anyway and you can really only fit about eight cookies per sheet. I baked two sheets at a time and rotated them halfway through the bake, and went through three cycles of baking (cooling the sheets between each baking cycle).

Lemon Ricotta Cookies (from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Makes 48

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (310g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (113g)
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar (335g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese (425g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbs. lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tbs. lemon juice

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (180g)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (60ml)

  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature so they combine evenly.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fully combined. The mixture may still seem a bit sandy due to the high amount of sugar; that’s fine.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, until smooth.
  • Add ricotta, vanilla, almond extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth.
  • Add the flour mixture and slowly stir until just combined into a very soft, very sticky dough, almost like a thick batter. The leaveners will make it puff up at this point.
  • Chill for at least an hour, up to overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.
  • Scoop batter by level tablespoons (I mean it!) onto the baking sheets, 3″ apart.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes, until cookies spring back when touched lightly.
  • Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
  • Repeat until all of your batter is used up.
  • You can freeze these now for later glazing, or continue on to glaze right away.
  • Whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle thickly over cookies. Add extra lemon zest to the top if you have it. Let the glaze sit for about an hour to set.
  • Since these are basically tiny cakes, they dry out quickly unless you keep them in an airtight container. If you need to bake them ahead of time, freeze them unglazed and thaw them out when you need them.

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