Last weekend, Three Shepherds Farm came to the cooking school to teach cheese making and it was amazing! The whole milk ricotta had such a great taste and texture, that I ended up eating a lot fresh (in salads, with fruits, etc). I flew through what was made in class, and ended up making another batch myself. Turns out ricotta isn’t too hard to make at home- which means I am totally making fresh ricotta from now on! So after the second batch, I found myself with some left in the fridge. I decided to experiment with ricotta cookies… I tried a bunch of different flavors and recipes: pumpkin (couldn’t resist!) orange (which was good, but didn’t feel as light as the lemon ones), and plain lemon (good, but something was missing). I ended up loving the lemon ones with a bit of lavender- and that’s the recipe below! It sounds a bit fussy, but I found the quantities and steps really affected the outcome. I kept the cookies in an air tight container and they retained the softness and texture, and I’m on Day 5… =)
1.75 cups sugar
1.5 tbsp dried lavender
zest from 1 lemon
4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup lemon juice
15 oz ricotta cheese, room temperature
13.5 oz (~2 1/2) cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1. Grind the lavender with a pinch of sugar in a mortar-pestle. In a large bowl, mix the the lavender and lemon zest into all of the sugar. You can do this the day before and the flavor will be even more intense.
2. Add the stick of butter to the sugar and beat until its light and fluffy.
3. Add one egg and then beat until it is just mixed in. Add the second egg and beat until it is just mixed in.
4. Add the lemon juice and ricotta cheese and beat until it looks like there aren’t any big lumps.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Mix the flour into the ricotta mixture using a spatula/spoon (do not beat). Mix it until there aren’t any dry pockets of flour.
7. Drop the cookies onto a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet. I used a small ice cream scoop to make it easier (~1.5 tbsp capacity). The cookie yeild depends on the size of your cookies- I made 3 sheet trays – 75 cookies total.
8. Bake at 375 F for ~15 mins. They are done when the top is still light, and the edges are just barely light brown.
This glaze adds a little bit more sweetness and flavor, but is totally optional. I actually prefer it plain, but my friends seemed to like the glazed version better.
1.5 tsp dried lavender
pinch of salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup confectioner sugar
zest from 1 lemon
1. Grind the lavender with the salt in a mortar-pestle.
2. In a bowl, mix the lavender, lemon juice, zest, and confectioner sugar together.
3. Pour ~1/4 tsp on top of each cookie and let it spread naturally. Let it dry completely before putting the cookies away (it took mine 1 hour to harden).