I first fell in love with ‘eating flowers’ (that is, tasting floral flavors) ever since I was little, eating “Rose” and “Violet” gelato walking through the porticos of Torino, Italy. I would return home to the States and tell my friends, “It tastes like you smell!” As an adult and amateur baker, I love using floral extracts and flavors in desserts, and one of most favorite combinations is Lavender and Lemon. Here’s my take on the classic Ricotta Cookie with fresh, vibrant lemon and soothing, sensual lavender:
Lavender Lemon Ricotta Cookies
ingredienti (ingredients) – makes 2 dozen
1 cup softened butter at room temperature (2 sticks)
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. ricotta cheese (brought to room temperature)
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure almond extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 tsp. lavender extract
juice from 1/2 lemon
3 drops purple food coloring (or 2 red, 1 blue)
colored yellow decorative sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and add the sugar. Beat two eggs and add to the butter. Mix and then add the ricotta, extracts, and rind. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda). Add slowly to wet mixture, mixing but not overworking dough. It will be soft and smooth.
Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop, drop slightly larger than golf ball sized dough about 2 inches apart (bake 12 cookies at a time). Bake at 350 F for 18 to 20 minutes until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool.
Blend the frosting ingredients and spread to desired thickness on each cookie. You may need to make the frosting recipe twice (or double the recipe), depending on how much you like on your cookie. I like to load them up (but of course, this adds a few more calories).
Sprinkle with yellow colored sugar, make yourself a cup of coffee, and just sit back and enjoy! Buon Apetito!