The joys of Easter
Rustic beauty and rich flavor of Italian desserts celebrate the holiday
Ricotta pie (Torta di ricotta): Sweet pies filled with fresh ricotta and even grains are also popular Italian Easter dessert choices. Candied citrus is often added to bring out the flavor of the cheese (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon extract
Grated zest of 8 lemons, juice reserved for glaze
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
5 3/4 cups 00 flour or cake flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the eggs, butter, sugar, lemon extract, lemon zest and salt in a mixing bowl; cream them together until light and silky. Add the milk and 2 cups flour; mix just until incorporated.
2. Place the remaining 3 3/4 cups flour in a separate bowl; mix in the baking powder and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture; mix just until the dough comes together. If using a stand mixer, stop a few times to scrape the bowl by hand.
3. Use a small scoop to portion dough balls that are the diameter of a quarter. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake, 8 minutes per batch. Cookies will be very moist inside and quite pale. Allow to cool at least an hour at room temperature before glazing.
Per cookie: 55 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 9 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 59 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
For the glaze:
Strain the reserved lemon juice. Combine it with an egg white. Add in enough powdered sugar to make a slightly thick syrupy glaze, about 5 cups. Dip each cookie to coat. (You will have extra glaze.) Let cookies dry on a cooling rack set over a tray until dry.