What do you do when life hands you lemons? You make Lemon Ricotta Cookies, of course! These cookies are delicious, light, and the perfect summer treat to serve at your next BBQ. They are more like little soft cakes than crispy cookies and they are bursting with lots of bright lemon flavor. I came across this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis when I was on the hunt for something to do with the 500 lemons that were taking up space in my fridge. I had already made Freshly Squeezed Lemonade and a Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake so I was ready for some cookies!
The original recipe by Giada can be found here and it was pretty much perfect “as is“. The only changes that I made to the recipe was to add 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract (because vanilla makes everything better) and I substituted 4 oz of french vanilla yogurt for some of the ricotta since I was a little short. The resulting cookie was delicious and had just the right amount of lemon, ricotta, and vanilla flavor. They were a big hit, even with my picky kids!
For the cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 large 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 fresh lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested
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.
While the cookies are baking, make the lemon glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Once the cookies are fully cooled, 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.
**Tip** – Using a Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater is the easiest way to zest lemons. It’s a great little tool to have in your arsenal! Hold the zester upside down as you use it so the zest collects in the channel of the Microplane instead of getting all over the counter.