Okay, let me just say right off the bat that this picture is horrid and totally doesn’t do justice to these cookies.  From the name of this recipe, I honestly would have expected these cookies to be disgusting.  Lemon – I’m not the biggest fan.  I LOVE lemonade, but desserts with lemon as the predominant flavor are never my first (or second) pick.  And ricotta cheese is great, but in a cookie – ew!  Those were my first impressions.  But I’ll be darned if I didn’t hear raves about this recipe over and over and over again.  On cooking message boards and on the Food Network website, I have only heard good things.  Since Giada has never let me down before, I gave it a try.  And you know what – they are AWESOME!  As in, so good I ate one, and then another, and then another…and then sent them to school with Ben so I wouldn’t eat 10 more :)  I actually like to think of these as an incredibly low-maintenance version of madeleines – same great flavor, deliciously light cakey texture, but without all the fuss of chilling the batter, greasing the molds, etc. etc.  So don’t let the name or ingredients put you off, just make these cookies and you’ll be glad you did!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
For the cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of one lemon

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir with a fork to combine and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix well to incorporate, scraping down the bowl between additions.  Add the ricotta cheese, the lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Mix to combine.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets (about 2 tablespoons per cookie).  Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Whisk until smooth.  Spoon a small amount of glaze onto each cookie and spread gently using the back of the spoon.  Let the cookies sit to allow the glaze to harden, about 2 hours.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Food Network