Living in the Northwest my entire life, I grew up shopping at Nordstrom and eating at the Nordstrom cafe. To this day, one of my favorite dishes to get is still the kids grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. If you haven’t ever experienced Nordstrom’s creamy, slightly space tomato soup – you must try it. I have so many amazing memories being a little girl and cruising through the little girls department with my mom shopping for the latest in Guess Jeans and Esprit sweatshirts after devouring my luscious lunch.
In recent years I have come to love more than just the grilled cheese and have found their Lemon Ricotta cookies. Nordstrom came out with a cookbook called the Family Table Cookbook and once while waiting for my takeout order I picked up the book and noticed that the recipe for these delectable cookies were in there. I was sold! I purchased the cookbook and the rest was history! These cookies are so soft and delicious it is almost like having a cake in cookie form. As you can see from the pictures these are not crisp cookies. They are soft, creamy and luscious. See inside one…
Now I have to warn you – PLEASE read the directions for these cookies. The first time I planned on making these cookies I made sure I had all the ingredients but had no idea all the steps you had to take with the dough prior to actually putting them in the oven. Unfortunately these are not cookies that you can easily whip up in one afternoon – these take planning due to having to let the dough rest, then freeze, etc. On the plus side, these can be made in advance and you can bake them the day of and have a fresh treat that people will be in awe of.
I hope you try making these cookies. They are delicious minus the frosting – but if you are a frosting lover like me, frost them and you will find them OUTSTANDING!
LEMON RICOTTA COOKIES FROM THE NORDSTROM CAFE
Makes about 18 – 48 cookies (depending on size)
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. kosher salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
16 oz. whole-milk Ricotta cheese
Grated zest of 6 lemons
1 T. lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter
3 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 c. lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
As mentioned above, at least 1 day before baking the cookies, make the dough.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs. With the mixer on low speed, in three additions beat in the ricotta, the the lemon zest and juice. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Do not over mix the dough. It will be very soft. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop (or two spoons) drop balls of dough onto the baking sheet. (Nordstrom’s cookbook recommends a 3-ounce scoop which would make 18 cookies, however I prefer to make smaller cookies and I get about 3-4 dozens generally.) Freeze, uncovered, until solid. (The cookbook states this should be done for 12 hours, however I froze mine for 6 and they turned out great.) A note provided from the cookbook – states that once frozen, the cookies can be removed from the baking sheet to a freezer bag and stored up to 2 weeks in the freezer. Update: One of my readers left a comment regarding putting them in refrigerator vs. the freezer. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference but she thankfully let me know that it does make a difference and you need to freeze them. Thanks so much Kelley! :-))
Remove the dough from the freezer and let them thaw for 30 minutes until cold – but not still frozen.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for about 20-22 minutes. If the cookies look like they are baking unevenly, rotate pans half way through the cooking process. Let the cookies cool on the plans for 5 minutes and transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the icing, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the lemon juice and continue mixing until the icing is smooth and about the consistency of cake frosting.
Frost the cookies, spreading it in an even, thick layer over 3/4 of the cookie and then sprinkle with lemon zest.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
ACTUAL IMAGES FROM THE NORDSTROM COOKBOOK: