Friday, May 16, 2014

Ricotta Cookies - Gluten Free

Lemony Ricotta Cookies - Gluten Free












Ricotta cookies rank high on my list of favorites when it comes to Italian holiday desserts.  Actually since I’m Italian-American, I’m not even sure if these cookies are actually Italian at all.  We all know how Italian-American foods are usually made with Italian ingredients like ricotta to make recipes that are not served in Italy.  

What I’m certain of, is that these delicious cake-like cookies were often served at my house on special occasions.  I always knew we were in for a treat when I saw them being made.  This past Mother’s Day, I carried on the tradition and made a batch to bring to my sister’s house for a brunch.  

The weather was bright and sunny with a soft gentle breeze that mirrored the cookies themselves.  What a lovely day.  It was this was the first Mother’s Day I spent pool-side in my swimsuit.  And the day was sweetened by the memories of childhood evoked by these delectable cookies.  Just wait until you try these.

Gluten Free Ricotta Cookies
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 17 mins
Makes: 4-5 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup of butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup of Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta (a drier variety works best)
  • the zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 ¼ to 2 ½ (see note) cups of gluten free self-rising (or gluten free Bisquick)

Ingredients  for the Glaze:
  • 1 cup of confectioner sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • up to 2 tbsp water
Video Tutorial: 



Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175 °C) and line a few baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, ricotta and lemon zest and stir to get everything well combined.  
  4. Mix in the self-rising flour (see note) and once it’s incorporated into a soft dough, use a small cookie scoop to drop tablespoon measures onto a prepared baking sheets. 
  5. Bake for 17 minutes then allow them to cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes before you transferring them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the glaze, in a small bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice then thin the glaze further with 1-2 tablespoons of water to a consistency slightly thicker than melted ice cream.  (see note)
  7. Once the cookies have completely cooled spoon the glaze over each cookie and be sure to have something under the racks to catch the dripping glaze. 
  8. Allow the glaze to dry and serve.
Notes: 
  1. The addition of the flour may need to be adjusted depending on how much moisture was in the ricotta.  I always start with 2 ¼ cups and if the cookie dough seems too wet I add the other ¼ cup to achieve the soft dough.
  2. For the glaze I find that using straight lemon juice makes the glaze too tart so I start with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice then continue thinning with water.  If you’d like a tarter lemony glaze, use straight lemon juice.  If the glaze gets too thin add more sugar, if it’s too thick, add more liquid.  

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