I've always thought lemons were a summer fruit, but its December and the grocery stores are selling lemons at throw away prices here in sunny Phoenix (today is quite chilly actually). Wait I lie, grocery stores WERE selling them at throw away prices the last time I went to one, which was before thanksgiving. Any case, the point I've been trying to get at is that I have a whole bunch of lemon that I'm finding fun ways to use. So, I was browsing through the pretty pictures of a Food network cookbook that I got as a bridal shower present and lo and behold, there was the perfect recipe, this posts namesake created by Giada de Laurentiis grandfather's mother (way too much information for me, but thought I should share the knowledge). I had everything for the recipe seemed like except for almond extract which was promptly substituted with vanilla and based on one devoured barely minutes ago, I can attest that they are absolutely DELISH. Super soft, flaky and melts in the mouth with a burst of lemony yumminess...goodbye boxed bake mixes.
So here's what you need:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest (use 2 lemon)
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla (original recipe called for almond) extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Sprinkle of sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with paper cups.
Mix all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and keep aside.
In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, lemon rind till light and fluffy. Add ricotta cheese and continue beating till incorporated. Add egg, extract and lemon juice and beat for a minute or so till blended. Add the flour mix and beat till just mixed evenly. Spoon into each paper cup, sprinkle with almonds and sugar. Bake till light golden brown (~25 mins). Cool for 5 minutes. Delicious warm.