Just when I’d thought I had run out of ways to use ricotta and limoncello, these healthy (hardly seems possible) and flourless meringue clouds appeared to me like a dream. Well, truth be told, I saw a recipe for donuts that gave me the idea.
Now you must be wondering, how could a donut recipe morph into these light, delectable meringue clouds? I have no idea… well, actually I do… sort of. When I see a recipe that uses lemons or lemon juice I immediately think of how I could substitute limoncello for the lemon juice. And when I notice a recipe includes cream cheese, mascarpone, or that type of cheese ingredient, my brain inserts my homemade ricotta cheese and starts figuring out how to convert its use into the ingredient list in place of the other cheese.
While that explanation sounds simple, it isn’t always that easy and may take a few attempts to get it exactly right. And the taste testing along the way can be brutal if all the flavors don’t come together as I planned. (Spit bowl/bucket is handy.)
This recipe did take a couple of tries to get it right. And it’s really my fault because I tried using packaged egg whites (that come in a milk carton type container) instead of separating the yolk from the white of a real egg. The first batch I made with the egg whites didn’t foam into stiff peaks either, so I started over. I also realized I needed the yolk to bind the other ingredients to the egg whites. Duh! So I really did need to use regular eggs.
Ricotta, spice, egg yolks, and lemon zest combined.Egg whites beat into stiff peaks.
Gently fold ingredients together.
Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with Silpat or sprayed with PAM and bake.
Cookies come out puffed and slightly browned. Once cooled, they will flatten out.
Drizzled with a little limoncello icing – oh so good ricotta limoncello clouds. These cookies are not stiff meringues, they have more of a sponge cake texture and don’t save well. Eat these right away for best results.
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons ricotta*
- 1 tsp lemon juice**
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp limoncello (or lemon juice)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with non-stick Silpat sheets or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Separate eggs (making sure no yolk gets into whites)
- Use a mixer (with whisk paddle if you have it) to mix egg whites and lemon juice. Beat mixture on high until a fluffy mixture with firm stiff peaks forms.
- In a separate bowl mix together the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, honey, nutmeg and lemon zest together.
- Using a spatula carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the stiff egg whites.
- Scoop the mixture onto cookie sheets, making16 rounds.
- Bake at 300 degrees for about 28 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Remove pans from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a metal spatula to get under the cookie. Don't let them stay in the pan too long or they will stick and crumble when you try to remove them.
- Whisk together icing ingredients; lightly drizzle over each cookie.
- *I make my own ricotta so in this recipe I drained it a little more than usual to create a denser consistency like cream cheese.
- **Next time I make these I'm going to add limoncello into the cookie mixture and eliminate the lemon juice. If it works, I'll revise this recipe.
- These ricotta limoncello clouds do not result in a stiff meringue - they are more sponge cake like.