lemon and basil ricotta cookies

now that my culinary class is over, it’s a bit weird to be cooking back in my own kitchen, without ten other people there tasting my food. wonderful, but weird. and now that i’ve had a few days to recover, i think i’ve almost caught up on my sleep, and am happy to cook again. of course, steve is working super long hours on his latest project, so i’ve been trying not to go too overboard with my cooking now that i’ve got a little break from school.

of course, i’m trying to incorporate some of my newfound culinary training into my regular routine. and with all the cold rainy weather the last few days, i bought a big tub of ricotta and whipped up some lasagna with fresh pasta sauce, and my first ever attempt at foccacia bread. it needs a little perfecting, and then i’ll post a more successful recipe. but i wanted to use the leftover ricotta for something new, something lemony and summery, something fantastic.

i played around with one of giada’s recipes, and voila: lemon and basil ricotta cookies. these little guys rule – super moist from the ricotta, tart and lemon from zest and juice, and a little bit savory from the basil. they have a fluffy, cake-like texture, rather than a crispy cookie, and are light, tender, and incredibly addictive. i want to try these out as a cake, too, and if it works i’ll let you know.

just be more careful when you take the baking sheets out of the oven than i was – i burned my thumb pretty badly this time around, and instead of immediately enjoying my cookies, had to keep ice on my thumb for three hours. i hate baking with parchment paper.

lemon and basil ricotta cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted, softened butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese
4 tbsp lemon juice
the zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice

preheat oven to 375 degrees. combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. in a mixer, cream sugar and butter until smooth, 2-3 minutes. with the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, beating until completely incorporated. then add ricotta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and basil and stir until combined.

put parchment paper on two baking sheets, then use teaspoons or a cookie scoop to drop cookies onto sheet. i made my cookies a bit small, about a tablespoon and a half of batter, but make them as big as you want. bake for about 15 minutes, until just golden brown and springy to the touch. while cooling, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice (use more if you need to) to create a glaze. stir until completely smooth, then drizzle over the cookies. allow glaze to harden for several hours (i know, i know, but it’s really good if you wait. eat a few when they’re warm if you just can’t stand it.)

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