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Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Meyer Lemon Ricotta CookiesThe Meyer lemon is a smaller, sweeter version of lemon that originated in China and is thought to be a cross between a lemon and a Mandarin orange. These tender, citrus-flavored cookies, festively dressed in silver dragees, make a delightful addition to a holiday cookie platter.

Recipe Ingredients:

Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, or 1 teaspoon lemon and/or tangerine flavoring oil
3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest, freshly grated*
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Glaze:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
Decorating sugar, silver dragees** (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in bowl; cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, ricotta, lemon extract (or baking oil), zest and juice; blend well.
  3. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt; blend to combine. Add remaining flour in two parts, blending to combine between each, until a dough forms.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake until cookie edges are very light golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for a few minutes and transfer to wire cooling rack.
  5. While cookies cool, prepare glaze by creaming together butter and powdered sugar. Continue to mix, gradually adding juice until desired consistency. Decorate cooled cookies adding dragees or decorating sugar, if desired, before icing sets.

Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

*Meyer lemons are available mid-November through early spring in specialty food stores. You will need 2 to 3 medium-sized lemons. Regular lemons can be substituted.

*Small silver candy decorating balls.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.