Friday, July 27, 2012

Crave-able Lemon Ricotta Clouds (Cookies)

I've written about these cookies in a previous post, but have never shown you how to make them or what they look like.  I know it's summer and baking should be the furthest from my mind. Thinking about how light and refreshing these cookies are and knowing I had all the ingredients, motivated me to turn on the oven and whip up a batch.   I had thawed out a container of ricotta the other day to make grilled pizza and had some leftover, so this was meant to be!

I don't know if I should thank her or curse her, my cousin Joyce gave me this recipe a few years ago. I think I'll thank her. Thank you Joyce!

Recipe: Makes 29 medium cookies.


Crave-able Ricotta Cookies 
They are so delicious!  They are soft & light, like little clouds. 

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter - softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup ricotta
2 tsp lemon extract (options: vanilla, or anise)
Optional: grate a little fresh lemon zest into the batter.

Glaze 

2 cups confectioners sugar
3 TBSP milk
a drop or two of lemon extract

Heat oven to 350. Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with silpat type mats.  Whisk flour baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
Beat with a mixer butter & sugar until blended.
Add egg, ricotta and vanilla, beat with a wooden spook just until combined.
If using mixer; On low speed add flour mix and beat until blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls or medium batter scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 14 - 17 min or until lightly browned around edges.
Let cool on sheets.
Top with optional glaze.  

I seldom glaze these, they are so good just as they are.  If you don't glaze, no need to cool, just eat!   These cookies freeze well so you can portion control your sweet tooth.



Ingredients, missing from photo: salt

Some of the gadgets used in preparing this recipe.
 Missing from the photo: hand mixer, whisk, bowl for
wet ingredients & a wooden spoon.

Be sure your baking powder isn't expired. Looks like I need a new can.

Dry ingredients, Wet ingredients

After gradually adding dry to wet, mix with wooden spoon.

Twenty nine scoops of ricotta cookie batter ready to go!

Very light color on top, lightly browned on the bottom, very soft texture.

Light, airy, cookies with a refreshing hint of  lemon.










Saturday, July 14, 2012

Garden Fresh: Beets with Dill and Walnuts

My garden is coming along nicely.  I didn't plant beets so I relied on our Farmer's Market to get these fresh beets as well as some fresh dill.

I thought a healthy, cool beet salad would be a good dish to try during this heat wave we are having here in New England.  Here is the recipe I used from My Recipes.

Gadget used: Stove Top pressure cooker by Fagor






http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/beets-with-dill-walnuts-10000002011029/


Ingredients



  • 2 pounds beets (about 6)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts


Preparation

  1. 1. Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place in a 6-quart pressure cooker; add 2 1/2 cups water. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 6 minutes. Release pressure through steam vent, or place cooker under cold running water to release pressure. Remove lid. Drain and rinse beets with cold water. Drain; cool. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Cut beets in half vertically; cut each half into 4 wedges. Place in a medium bowl.
  2. 2. Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Slowly drizzle in oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until well combined. Toss oil mixture with beets; let stand 15 minutes, tossing gently occasionally. Stir in dill. Top with walnuts just before serving.

Ingredients & pressure cooker.

Step 2 of recipe instructions.

Pressure cooked & peeled beets.

Adding the dressing.

Adding the walnuts. I left them whole, I like walnuts!