Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cookies with a surprise ingredient...

Cookies cookies cookies... so many different types, yet so little time to try them all! We usually prefer a cookie that is chewy/crisp, but every so often it is nice to have a change of pace and try a different textured one.

Have you ever had one of the soft, moist, melt in your mouth cookies that are usually found frosted with buttercream? That is how I could best describe the texture of these Ricotta-Cheese cookies. Yes, you read that right - Ricotta! I had to show Jeff the empty ricotta container as he refuses to admit that he likes it. They are cake-like, flavored with vanilla and almond extract to give them a boost in flavor, and frosted with a simple almond flavored icing. I didn't have time to make some buttercream, but that would be an excellent addition to these cookies. I sprinkled some green sanding sugar on top to dress them up a bit. I played around with the size - if you roll them in a ball they are a bit smaller, more thick and have a rounded dome when finished baking. If you flatten the dough balls, they are a bit larger which makes icing a little easier and they still puff up.

Dinner tonight, Grilled Herbed Pork Tenderloin, is first marinated with the bold flavors of garlic, lemon zest, fresh sage and oregano, orange juice and orange honey. After sitting for a few hours, we used The Griddler to grill the tenderloin until it was just pink in the center. The juice and honey created a caramelized crust that mixed well with the more savory garlic and spice flavors. While this was so good on its own, it would be even better over a salad or in a sandwich.

To have along side, I served Garlicky Lemon Broccoli. This recipe was incredibly simple and brought so much flavor to the broccoli. I was nervous that the garlic and lemon would overpower the simple broccoli, but the juice brought out the fresh flavor and the garlic gave just enough bite. I can see throwing this together often instead of just plain ol' steamed broccoli.


  1. o.0 ....... thats interesting. Lemony garlicky pork and brocolli. Why didnt i thought of that...chuckle

  2. Your cookies sound great! I wish I had thought about doing something like that for my staff at the library. Maybe I can get away with some cookies from the neighborhood bakery.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day! (I am mostly Irish, red hair and all. Dad's all Irish and mom's half Irish, half German).

  3. I absolutely love ricotta-cheese cookies! If there was any of that pork leftover, looks like lunch is going to be smokin' today!

  4. I love the way your cookies look!

    A few weeks ago, I also made those ricotta cookies and loved them! Instead of almond extract, I used lemon extract and ground nutmeg (see my blog)...

    By the way, I linked your great site!

  5. Mmmm, sounds like my kinda cookie...

  6. Just a silly question, don't feel like you have to answer, but is the dinner plate your pork is served on Danske Concerto? Just looked an awful lot like my wedding china purchased 14 yrs. ago!

  7. Gee, and I was hoping I'd get to pinch you guys for not baking something green.

  8. Joe, just wondering two things. where did you get the cookie recipe? and didi you use full fat ricotta? thanks, Val

  9. Joe, thanks for sharing the broccoli recipe. I'm always looking for new ways to cook the green stuff.

  10. Hey Joe, everything looks delish!
    I was wondering how many cookies the recipe makes- I have a bit of ricotta left that would like to be turned into a cookie this week!

    Love the shamrock sanding on the cookie- you're so clever!

  11. foodcrazee - It was a good combo, we had all off the broccoli (it makes a lot for just 2) so I'm not sure if the leftovers would be any good!

    barbara - Thanks! We both have some Irish here!

    s'kat - First time having them and can definitely see making them again! And yes, lunch was awesome!

    Rosa - Thanks!

    Cate - Let me know if you give 'em a try!

    cameradawktor - They are labeled as "Brasserie" from Willams-Sonomoa.

    EJ - Hmm... you could still send a pinch!

    Val - I found the recipe on an old notecard that I'm not sure which side of the family we got it from. I made some changes to suit what we had - I made 2 batches, one with whole milk ricotta and one labled "low fat". The end cookies looked and tasted pretty much the same, but the dough was a bit softer with the Whole milk version.

    Ed - We love the green stuff here!

    Christina - I got 36 cookies from the recipe!

  12. Oh Joe, you are so inspiring. I had a busy week and barely made it to the internet. I come across all these wonderful things you made and feel lighter and more inspired for my cooking day. FAb cookies by the way.I am a big fan of ricota cheese.

  13. thanks Joe. I made them with the full fat ricotta. I used just vanilla, no almond. I thought they were great. I lvoed both the taste and texture. They were soft and tender, but not airy or spongey like some cakey cookies. these were more dense. dense yet still tender and light, if that makes sense. I wouldn't call them "melt in your mouth" because I reserve that for something that dissolves.... just a matter of semantics, though.

    I wouldn't liken them to the lofthouse cookies (the kind with the buttercream frosting)... these are softer and more cakey. the lofthouse are dense and they dissolve in your mouth.

    anyway, these are great cpokies. I made them while at my parents house and left them all there so I wouldn't do too much damage!

  14. Valentina - Thanks!

    Val - Your description is pretty spot on. I have not had one of the "lofthouse" type cookies in a long time, but thinking back you nailed how the texture is much better than I did! :)

  15. Hi Joe -- I was a cooking fool myself this past weekend. At the pasta shop I blogged about, they also had a chocolate shortbread cookie filled with marscapone -- it was incredibly good...not too sweet. Can't wait to try yours.