I have a Saturday morning routine. I wake up on the early side, head to the gym with my sister, we take an aerobics class and then make our way home, taking a little detour to stop at the farmers market. Every weekend, we have plans to buy lots of fruits and veggies for the upcoming week. But every week, we inevitably become distracted by the stand that sells freshly made gelato. There are new gelato flavors every week, all of which we sample, but there are several staples: lemon ricotta cardamom being one of them. I honestly can’t get enough of this particular flavor. It’s perfectly spiced and tart at the same time, with a silky smooth consistency. It’s the most ideal way to start the weekend.
I continued my routine a couple of Saturdays ago when I got to the farmer’s market and there was no one there! No fresh bread! No baked goods! No fresh vegetables that I never turn to! And worst of all, no gelato stand. Sadly, our farmers market closed for the winter and since that Saturday my routine has changed to sitting in the apartment dreaming of the samples of fresh, rich gelato that will not be tasted until the spring. (The gym had to be sacrificed for the sorrow).
With leftover ricotta in the fridge, I instead decided to incorporate these flavors into a cookie. These are actually the perfect representation of the flavors of the lemon ricotta gelato in a more substantial form. It’s a cakier cookie, kind of like the top of a whoopie pie. Which leads me to think of dreamy fillings you could sandwich between the two. But the softness actually nicely correlates to the creaminess of the gelato. They are much more than a holdover until the farmers’ market returns. But they will be the perfect accompaniment to the gelato in the spring.
Lemon Ricotta Cardamom Cakelets (adapted from here)
Both of the cardamom and lemon flavors become stronger as these cakelets sit, but feel free to add more of either or both of the lemon and cardamom if you want more assertive flavors.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 lemons, zested
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- about 2 tbsp. milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough by the tablespoon onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and cardamom in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, until the glaze coats the back of a spoon. Dip each cookie into the glaze and place on a wire rack to harden for about 2 hours.