Living by the Old Adage

Lemon cookies goodDid you know that lemons have health benefits – everything from possibly preventing strokes to building collagen in the skin? While you might not choose a lemon as an afternoon snack, you might be like me and opt for something lemony sweet and smooth with a cup of coffee at 3 p.m.

I always think of lemons when spring arrives with its tease of warmth – think yellow, sunshine, lemonade, and lemon vinaigrette with fresh asparagus.

The old adage of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” seems overused, but really, is there any other way to live?

Here are two of my favorite lemon cookie recipes.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Pictured above, these tangy, light cookies were brought to the office by Nancy via Giada De Laurentiis of Food Network. Frankly, Nancy is the Giada of our office!

2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let them rest on the cookie sheet for20 minutes.

Glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon onto each cookie and spread. Let the glaze harden for about two hours.

Yield: 44 cookies.

Lemon Crinkles
I adapted this easy recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Tidy Mom.

Crinkle cookies

1 box lemon cake mix
1 8-ounce container Cool Whip
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice with the pulp and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/3 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, beat Cool Whip, egg, cake mix, lemon juice and zest, until well blended. Dough will be thick and sticky.

Drop a rounded teaspoon of dough into a bowl of powdered sugar and roll to coat.

Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. The parchment paper is essential. Let the cookies completely cool on the sheet or they are too gooey to remove. Hint: If you don’t have parchment paper then grease a cookie sheet with Crisco and flour it. Don’t use wax paper. (I can attest to that failure.)

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