Last year, it took me ages to develop my recipes for my holiday baking (click here for my recipe index). This year, I took advantage of inspiration having struck unexpectedly quickly and early by wrapping up my baking two weeks before Christmas. Though at the rate they're being eaten, I may make a few more batches! I was able to give some away to friends passing through town earlier in the month.
These cookies were my favourite of the bunch. I modified my mascarpone cookies by substituting ricotta cheese, and used homemade lemon curd instead of jam. I froze these on account of the lemon curd, but they defrosted beautifully and even stayed nice and soft! I doubled this recipe, which made about four dozen cookies.
Prepare lemon curd (recipe here), or ensure you have a jar of commercial lemon curd on hand.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 1-1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together 2-3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls. Using a blunt round object like the end of a wooden spoon, create an indentation in the center of each cookie. Place the cookies 2 inches apart, and bake at 325F for 12 to 15 minutes, or just until the cookies begin to colour on the bottom. Remove and while still warm, redefine the cavity. Once cookies have cooled, pipe cooled lemon curd into the cavity using a pastry bag.