Chef Dina

Now available for Bay Area full service catering in conjunction with "A Fork Full of Earth" organic catering, intimate dinner parties and weekly meal preparation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back in the saddle for holiday cookies!

OK, so I've been out of blogging commission for a while...
but there is an excuse,  I have a bun in the oven!...pun intended ;)
Now that I am entering my second trimester, I have a little more energy and cookies are sounding better than ever, so here is one to add to your holiday cookie tins. These cookies are my absolute favorite and this is a fail proof recipe- so if they don't turn out, you are doin' something wrong. Thanks, Italy!

Ricotta Cheese Cookies
Not too sweet, but just sweet enough.  This is a light and fluffy biscuit like cookie perfect for teatime. Add a quick lemon frosting and you have a traditional, albeit sweeter,  Italian Christmas cookie.

Butter, unsalted                        1 c (2 sticks, room temp)
Sugar                                        2 c
Eggs                                         2 large
Ricotta                                     15 oz
Almond extract (or vanilla)      2 tsp
Flour                                        4 c            
Baking powder                        2 tbs
Salt                                          2 tsp
Orange or Lemon zest             2 tbs
(this is optional, so add as much or as little as you like)

Cream butter, sugar, and orange or lemon zest with an electric mixer.  Gradually add eggs, ricotta and extract.  Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt (ideally in a separate bowl, but I usually make it work in one) and add it to the wet mixture.   Scoop (gotta get a scoop if you don't have one.  I have 3 different sizes, they come in very handy!) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (or a silpat).  You don't have to squish them down or anything. Bake 8-10 minutes at 375 or until they are done, and maybe the tiniest bit browned.  Be careful, the bottoms brown before the tops- the tops may stay very pale.
**This recipe makes a lot of cookies. I have been know to freeze half of the batter to save for a day when I need a quick dessert- they make a really good shortcake component to a strawberry shortcake!   I serve mine with strawberries cooked down with a little sugar and vanilla ice cream.  Yum.  

Happy Holidays!  I promise I will post more ideas for you this season before it is too late.  Don't forget to call me if you actually want to ENJOY your holiday get together this year!  I'm pretty free in December so far and would be happy to cater your holiday event, or even just a casual dinner party for friends.  

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