I’ve been on a lemon kick lately.
I know most citrus to be a winter crop – oranges, grapefruits, Meyer Lemons – but various lemons can be harvested year round, making it a fruit you can enjoy whenever.
Joy be to the bright fruit in the dog days of winter when all you want is the sun, and hallelujah to the bright flavor in the dog days of summer.
I recently hosted a cabi party a few days before the actual start of Fall, and unless it’s actual Fall, I do not want pumpkin spiced/flavored anything. That shit is for Fall and only Fall. You cannot convince me otherwise.
Anthony Bourdain, rest his soul, once said pumpkin spice needs to drown in its own blood. I loved him before, but even more when he said this.
Given my propensity against anything pumpkin until the actual start of fall, I wanted something to bake for my party that was bright, reminding the ladies who were coming that we still had a few waning days of summer ahead.
These are super simple to make, and are a fun, brightly flavored cookie once frosted. And when you need a light cookie for a fashion show, this is your go-to 🙂
A perfectly tender, brightly lemony cookie with plenty of tiny flecks of poppy seeds. An irresistible cookie that’s fit for any occasion or holiday. You don’t taste the ricotta but you’ll love the moisture and texture it offers to these cookies!
- 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp (22g) poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240g) whole milk ricotta cheese (I recommend Galbani)
- 1 1/4 cups (154g) powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp (30ml) fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest, for decorating (optional)
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest until combined.
Mix in egg and vanilla extract then blend in ricotta.
Add in flour mixture and mix until combined, scrape down bowl and fold to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.
Cover bowl and chill 1 – 2 hours until dough is easier to work with, preheat oven to 350 degrees near the end of chilling.
Scoop dough out using a medium cookie scoop or use two spoons (one to scoop and one to drop, they should be about 1 1/2 tablespoons each).
Drop onto baking sheet lined with silcone baking liner or parchment paper.
Bake in preheated oven until just nearly set when touched on top, about 12 – 14 minutes. Keep any dough that’s not baking chilled and repeat process with remaining dough.
Let cool on pan several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, in a small mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended then spoon over cooled cookies. Sprinkle lightly with lemon zest if desired.
Let glaze set at room temperature, then store cookies in an airtight container.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy
My Thoughts After Making:
This is a super sticky dough. Make sure you head line item #5.
Why do I tell you this so adamantly? If you’re like me, you don’t want to wait for results – like having to refrigerate your dough so it’s easier to work with kinda wait time. Don’t be like I normally am and rush through the chill time. This dough needs it, and needs it badly.
Shockingly, I didn’t try to rush this dough, given that my spatula stood on its own in the thick sticky dough.
Go for walk like I did and come back to bake the cookies after the dough is made.
My super-freak health-nut daughter gave me the whiney, “I don’t wanna eat that much sugar,” bit when we went to frost them. I said to her, “I’m guessing these are not bursting with lemon flavor without the frosting.”
Guess who was right?
Sans frosting, these cookies have a slight lemon flavor, and they taste more like a tender, moist lemon poppy seed scone than an actual cookie. This tenderness and moistness comes from the ricotta. While you cannot taste the ricotta, it is what gives this cookie its signature soft texture.
It is a nice enough “cookie” without the frosting. But once you add the frosting with the lemon juice and the zest… WOWZA! The lemon flavor bursts through.
She says the lemon zest is optional; I say it is mandatory. It ramps up the lemon tartness and brightness of this cookie 10-fold. Make sure you add the zest!
My show and the cookies were a huge hit. I ended up packing up goodie bags of cookie along with jars of my peach salsa for several of the guests as the left!
When life gives you lemons, make cookies.