The summer is flying by and it’s been a time of fun, travel and relaxation. Work tends to slow in the summer including the time spent on my blog. This is only my second post in August but I’ve been working on some cookie and other sweet projects for future posts. Come September, things get back to a normal routine as everyone returns to their usual work and school schedules. My blog will resume more regularly scheduled posts too. Stay tuned and invite your friends to join in and visit the Clinic.

These Lemon Ricotta Muffins have the sweet aroma of fresh lemons and almonds while baking. They emerge from the oven with a pale yellow color and the ingredient of ricotta cheese makes for a moist muffin. Enjoy with morning coffee, midday pick-me-up or sweet something after dinner.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter (1 stick), softened
Zest of 2 Lemons (or 4 tbsp Lemon Juice)
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1/3 cup Sliced Almonds (optional)

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners
In a separate bowl mix Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Set aside.
Blend Sugar, Butter, and Lemon Zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in Ricotta Cheese.
Add Egg, Lemon Juice, and Almond Extract.
Add dry ingredients and stir just until blended.  Batter will be thick and fluffy.

Pour into muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with almonds and sugar.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are pale golden. Makes12-14 muffins.
[This is Nonna’s Lemon Ricotta Biscuits recipe by Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network]

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These cookies were made for my cousin’s bridal shower. To be specific, my first cousin once removed. When you’re into genealogy as I am we toss around relative terms, but to others it can sound confusing. In simpler terms, Caitlin is the daughter of my first cousin. Ah, now it makes sense, right? She is a darling, vivacious girl with a beautiful smile. She and her future husband are in the noble profession of teaching; inspiring and educating youngsters who will become the world’s future leaders. After college, Caitlin chose to teach in South America and little did she know at the time but that choice was going to impact the rest of her life. Why? Just down the hallway from her classroom was her now husband-to-be; a handsome, fun-loving teacher with a passion for jazz music.

Still in the throes of planning an autumn wedding, her bridesmaids threw her a shower. These cookies were just a sample of the goodies served. These cookies depict two hearts united and the initials of the soon-to-be bride and groom. Monograms are a skill I’ve yet to hone but the cookies were enjoyed by all. Congrats Caitlin & Leo!

Heart Cookies
Double Heart Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining tinted Light Pink with AmeriColor Deep Pink and AmeriColor Super Red
Royal Icing for flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for outlining and detail tinted Light Yellow with AmeriColor Egg Yellow
Royal Icing for outlining tinted Green with AmeriColor Leaf Green
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tips #1, #2, #3

Outline hearts with #3 tip in pink icing. Let sit one hour.

Flood cookies in white icing. Let dry overnight.

Outline hearts again with #3 tip in pink icing.

Outline initials with #3 tip in pink icing.

For flowers, pipe dots with #2 tip in yellow outline icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe circles atop dots with #1 tip in yellow detail icing.

Pipe leaves with #2 tip in green icing. Let dry overnight.




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