These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are a variation of Italian ricotta cookies. They're light and airy with a chewy texture, and it's finished with a delectable sweet lemon glaze. These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are very simple and require a few basic ingredients, which you most likely already have on hand. It can serve as a foundation for other variations, such as orange ricotta cookies and chocolate chip ricotta cookies. For more Lemon Inspired recipes, check out these recipes: Lemon Bars, Limoncello Cheesecake Bars, lemon pound cake, and lemon curd.
- What Are Lemon Ricotta Cookies?
- Brief Highlight Of Our Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe:
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies Ingredients
- Tools you'll need
- How to Make Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- How to Make the Lemon Glaze
- How to Serve
- How to Store & Re-Heat
- How to Freeze
- Tips for Making The Best Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Related Recipes:
- 📋 Recipe
What Are Lemon Ricotta Cookies?
Lemon ricotta cookies are a delightful and tangy dessert treat known for their soft and cake-like texture. These cookies are made with ricotta cheese, which lends a creamy and slightly tangy quality, and fresh lemon zest and juice, which infuse them with a bright and refreshing citrus flavor. Typically, they are sweetened with sugar and often flavored with vanilla extract. After baking, lemon ricotta cookies are often topped with a lemon glaze or icing, enhancing their zesty and sweet profile. These cookies are loved for their unique combination of creaminess and citrusy brightness, making them a popular choice for dessert or a sweet snack.
Brief Highlight Of Our Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe:
- Taste: Lemon Ricotta Cookies are a delightful treat known for their bright and zesty lemon flavor. The cookies are sweet and tangy, with a pronounced citrus kick from both lemon juice and zest. The glaze on top adds an extra layer of sweetness and lemony goodness, making these cookies incredibly satisfying for those who enjoy the tanginess of lemon desserts.
- Texture: These Lemon Ricotta Cookies have a wonderful texture that's soft, tender, and slightly chewy. The ricotta cheese contributes to their light and airy quality, while the butter provides richness. The glaze on top adds a smooth and sweet finish, creating a delightful contrast in texture.
- Method: Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then mix in ricotta, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Combine the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour. Use a scoop or spoon to portion the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until the edges are lightly browned and the cookies are set. While the cookies cool, prepare the lemon glaze by whisking together confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Dip the cooled cookies into the glaze or spoon the glaze over them..Allow the glaze to set before serving or storing.
Lemon Ricotta Cookies Ingredients
Note: The full ingredients list is provided in the recipe card below.
- Butter: It gives richness, tenderness, and structure to cookies.
- Sugar: It functions as a sweetener and provides flavor. It also helps to create a soft and chewy texture. Cookies without sugar would be much harder and less tasty.
- Eggs: The addition of eggs to cookies serves a few purposes. First, eggs add structure and chewiness to the cookies and moisture. Egg also helps to bind the other ingredients together, creating a more cohesive cookie dough that holds its shape when baked. Additionally, eggs contribute flavor and richness to cookies, making them more satisfying.
- Pure vanilla extract: It enhances the flavor.
- Flour: It helps to create a structure for the cookies, adding some thickness and chewiness; it also helps to bind the other ingredients together, making a more consistent cookie.
- Baking powder: It helps cookies rise.
- Fresh Lemon juice & Zest: It enhances the flavor of the cookie and the glaze; you can use orange, lime, or tangerine instead of lemon.
- Ricotta: I use full-fat ricotta cheese, but any fat percentage can be used; but keep in mind that the higher the fat percentage, the creamier and richer the result. If you prefer, use homemade ricotta; make sure to drain well.
Tools you'll need
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Medium bowl
- Stand Mixer or hand mixer Rubber spatula
- Parchment paper 2
- Baking sheets
- Wire Rack
- Small Bowl
- Citrus zester
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Note: The full instruction is provided in the recipe card below.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter quickly until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.
Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in the Ricotta, vanilla, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and lemon zest, and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until combined, but do not overmix! Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets an inch apart. Bake the lemon ricotta cookies for 12 minutes until the edges become lightly brown and the cookies look puffed and set. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Make the Lemon Glaze
Note: The full instruction is provided in the recipe card below.
Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to make a smooth glaze in a small bowl. Adjust the consistency with a bit of lemon juice or more confectioner's sugar to make a glaze thick enough to stick to the cookies when dipped. Dip the surface of each cookie into it. Alternatively, use a spoon for glazing. Let the icing set at room temperature before serving or storing.
- Citrus: Instead of lemon, you can use orange, lime, or tangerine.
- Flour: You can use alternative flours like whole wheat or almond flour for a different texture and flavor. Remember that the cookies' texture and taste may vary with other flours.
- Butter: If you prefer a different type of fat or need a dairy-free option, you can substitute the unsalted butter with an equal amount of coconut oil, vegetable oil, or dairy-free margarine.
- Sugar: Feel free to experiment with different types of sweeteners. You can use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or a substitute like stevia. Remember that the cookies' taste and texture differ slightly from alternative sweeteners.
- Ricotta Cheese: If you don't have access to ricotta cheese or prefer a different flavor, you can substitute it with an equal amount of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.
- Lemon Glaze: If you prefer a different glaze or icing, try using a different flavor, such as orange or lime. For a unique twist, you can also experiment with flavored extracts like almond or vanilla.
- Orange ricotta cookies: Instead of lemon juice and zest, use orange juice and zest.
- Chocolate chip ricotta cookies: Omit the lemon juice and zest. Add 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract and 165g (1 cup) chocolate chips.
- Lemon Blueberry: Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries to the cookie dough, lemon zest, and juice. The burst of blueberries will add a delightful flavor and a pop of color to the cookies.
- Lemon Poppy Seed: Stir 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds into the cookie dough along with the lemon zest and juice. This classic combination will give the cookies a subtle crunch and a nutty flavor.
- Lemon Lavender: Add 1-2 teaspoons of dried culinary lavender buds to the cookie dough along with the lemon zest and juice. The floral notes of lavender will complement the bright lemon flavor, creating a unique and fragrant cookie.
- Lemon Coconut: Mix ½ cup of shredded coconut into the cookie dough, lemon zest, and juice. The tropical taste of coconut will add a hint of sweetness and a lovely texture to the cookies.
- Lemon Almond: Replace ½ cup of the all-purpose flour with almond flour and add ½ cup of chopped almonds to the cookie dough along with the lemon zest and juice. This variation will give the cookies a subtle nutty flavor and a slightly different texture.
- Lemon Cardamom: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom to the cookie dough with the lemon zest and juice. The warm and aromatic notes of cardamom will pair beautifully with the bright lemon flavor.
Check out this lemon poppy seed bundt cake recipe on my website!
How to Serve
Lemon Ricotta Cookies can be served as a sweet snack or dessert. Enjoy them at room temperature, or warm them up before serving. For added flair, dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with extra lemon glaze. Whether enjoyed as-is or with a touch of decoration, these cookies will be a delightful treat.
How to Store & Re-Heat
To store: Lemon Ricotta Cookies, allow them to cool completely and then place them in an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
To reheat: Bring them to room temperature or warm them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until warm and slightly crisp. Avoid microwaving to prevent them from becoming soft.
Lemon Ricotta Cookies can be made ahead of time. After baking and cooling, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature or reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) when ready to serve.
How to Freeze
Lemon Ricotta Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months: Drop the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons onto a sheet pan, let them set in the freezer until solid, then place them in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake directly from frozen, as directed in the recipe, but add 1 to 2 extra minutes to the baking time.
Tips for Making The Best Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Use fresh ingredients: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest will give the cookies a vibrant citrus flavor. Additionally, use high-quality ricotta cheese for the best texture and taste.
- Cream the butter and sugar well: Creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy incorporates air into the mixture, resulting in a lighter texture for the cookies. Beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until they are fully combined and have a smooth consistency.
- Don't overmix the dough: Overmixing the dough can lead to dense cookies. Mix the ingredients just until they are combined. Once you add the flour mixture, mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Avoid overmixing to prevent developing too much gluten, which can result in tough cookies.
- Chill the dough: Chilling the dough before baking helps solidify the fats in the dough, resulting in cookies that spread less and have a better texture. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days, to allow the flavors to meld and the dough to firm up.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon: To ensure uniform cookies, use a cookie scoop or a spoon to portion out the dough onto the baking sheets. This will help the cookies bake evenly and have a consistent size.
- Bake at the right temperature and time: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cookies for the specified time in the recipe. Watch them closely as they bake, as baking times can vary depending on the oven. The cookies should be lightly golden around the edges and set in the center.
- Let the cookies cool before glazing: Allow them to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing. This will prevent the glaze from melting too quickly and ensure a smooth finish.
- Adjust the glaze consistency: If it is too thick, add a little more lemon juice to thin it out. If it's too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. Aim for a glaze thick enough to coat the cookies but still allows some transparency.
- Let the glaze set: After glazing the cookies, allow them to sit at room temperature until the glaze sets. This will take about 1 hour. Once the glaze is dry, you can store the cookies in an airtight container.
Can you freeze Ricotta Cookies dough?
Lemon Ricotta Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months: Drop the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons onto a sheet pan, let them set in the freezer until solid, then place them in a stable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake directly from frozen, as directed in the recipe, but add 1 to 2 extra minutes to the baking time.
Can Lemon Ricotta Cookies be frozen after they're baked?
Baked lemon ricotta cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Here's how to: Allow the cookies to completely cool before layering them between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months: Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can reheat frozen or thawed lemon ricotta cookies in an oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes before glazing.
Do Ricotta Cookies need to be refrigerated?
Keep lemon ricotta cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerator for up to 1 week to maintain their freshness and texture.
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How to Make Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- 281.25 g (2 ¼ cups ) of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- 8 ounces Store-bought Ricotta or Fresh Ricotta , drained
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- zest from 2 lemons
For the Lemon Glaze:
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 cups confectioners sugar , sifted
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sift together flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter, and salt on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between additions.
- Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in the Ricotta, vanilla, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and lemon zest, and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined, but do not overmix! Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for a least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets an inch apart. Bake for 12 minutes until the edges become lightly brown, and the cookies look puffed and set. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- How to Make the Lemon Glaze
- Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to make a smooth glaze in a small bowl. Adjust the consistency with a bit of lemon juice or more confectioner's sugar to make a glaze thick enough to stick to the cookies when dipped. Dip the surface of each cookie into it. Alternatively, use a spoon for glazing. Let the icing set at room temperature before serving or storing.
- Ricotta Cookies can be kept airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 1 week.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.