MangiaMore: a DOLLOP of dough

RER 12.23.12
Sometimes just a spoonful can save a life. Sometimes just a teaspoon (or tablespoon, depending) is all you need. Sometimes two heaping teaspoons can make all the difference in the world, especially if they are sweet, delicious, tangy, textured and baked. Now that's what I'm talking about, doughy drop cookies. This is the third category of Christmas cookies that we make and indulge in (heavily) every year, along with those addictive roll out recipes and mini bars of joy. Check out the little dollops of doughy goodness we made this year...

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Almond Cookies
When I was younger, I had a super amazing math teacher, who on the outside seemed strict and sarcastic, but on the inside she was truly a kind person pushing her students to their greatest potential. To help the push and ease the pain, during exams she would feed us with brownies and cookies. The recipe for these almond cookies come from her. After asking, she typed out the recipes she used for her cookies and that is what we use now (we even still have the paper...somewhere). She made this recipe with walnuts, but we use almonds. There is definitely a different taste (the walnuts feel a little heavier), but the cookies all in all are delicious and rich. The chopped (fine or not so fine) add a great texture and a kind of meatiness that generally accompanies nuts. Maybe that makes me feel less guilty about stuffing my face with these cookies, they are nutritional.

RER 12.23.12
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons amaretto liqueur
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, amaretto, and almonds. Gradually mix in the flour until well blended. 
Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 5 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies are lightly colored. 
Recipe from my middle and high school Math Teacher, Ms. Couturie.

RER 12.23.12
Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Now, when I was studying in London, one of my amazing flatmates introduced me to this recipe. We have kept in touch since our time in the UK (more than two years ago), and because I was so enamored with the cookies she made for us, I asked her for the recipe. She just told me to google "Giada Lemon Ricotta." Ok. Easy. Months later, while getting cozy watching the Food Network, it dawned on me that Giada is the Giada De Laurentiis. I am not always a fan of her show "Everyday Italian," but my family is obsessed with these cookies. Both my sister and my boyfriend love and request these cookies all year round. So with leftover ricotta and a little lemon zest, these cookies were added to the roster of our Christmas Bake-a-thon this year. Smiles all around. These cookies are easy, though a little time intensive (they have to sit on the cookie sheet for a while after baked), are like fluffy muffin tops, drizzled with a tart yet sweet glaze. They are always moist and most often addictive.

RER 12.21.12
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. In another bowl, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add in the ricotta, lemon juice, and the zest and mix to combine. Finally stir in the dry ingredients.
Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper (they get sticky). Spoon the dough (2 tablespoons) and leave space in between each cookies because they really spread.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Once finished leave the cookies on the sheet for another 20ish minutes (I usually do not wait so long... who can? They are delicious).

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Lemony Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Mix all three ingredients and stir until smooth. Spoon the deliciousness onto the cookies and use the back of the spoon to spread the glaze. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours (another agonizing wait).
Recipe from foodnetwork.com

What kind of dollops of dough do you enjoy in the holiday season? These kinds of drop cookies are super great all year round, with an incredible variety and range.
RER 12.23.12

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food for thought...