Halloween Pandan Ricotta Cookies with Carrot Icing
This recipe was inspired by a recipe that Giada DeLaurentiis made on her cooking show Everyday Italian. Ricotta in cookies may seem strange, but it makes the cookies oh-so moist and chewy. Giada made lemon ricotta cookies with a lemon glaze, but I thought it would be fun to modify the recipe for Halloween.
I added pandan to the batter to give the cookies a spooky green tint. After baking, I covered the cookies with a carrot glaze. The orange color really evokes Halloween. To finish the cookies, I sprinkled on some orange, green and black Halloween sprinkles.
This Halloween, while the kids are over-loading on sugar from too many cloyingly sweet candy bars, the grown-ups can have something to enjoy, too.
Yields: 42 cookies2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons pandan paste (see tips)
15 ounces ricotta cheese (1-1/2 cups)
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons fresh carrot juice
1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup Halloween sprinkle toppings
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with 1/3 cup of sugar for about 5 minutes. You'll get a pale yellow foam and the texture of the egg yolk will be thicker. Add the brown sugar and ricotta cheese.
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Sift all the dry ingredients.
Cream the butter with the remaining sugar (whisk using a standmixer to get as much air as possible in the butter). Add the egg mixture and the dry ingredients. Add the pandan paste. It will bring a distinct green color to the dough. Mix well.
Place a silicon mat or a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place the cookie dough about 2 tablespoons at a time onto the prepared baking sheet (or use a cookie scoop). Make sure to space the cookies about 2 inches apart so that they don't touch each other as they will expand when they bake.
Bake the cookies for 20 minutes. Don't over bake them; you want them to be moist and chewy. Remove from the oven.
Layer a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet (for easy clean-up of the carrot icing). Transfer the cookies onto the cooling rack.
In a bowl, dissolve the carrot juice in powdered sugar. Add the ground ginger. Set aside.
Drizzle each cookie with 3/4 teaspoon of carrot icing and top with the Halloween sprinkles.
Let the carrot icing harden completely for about 2 hours.
Sifting dry ingredients helps get rid of nasty lumps of flour and aerates the mixture when liquid is added. It's very important for all your baking so you get a moist result.
To guarantee quality baked goods, use the best butter you can find.
You can also freeze the tray for at least one hour, then transfer the cookie dough balls into bags that you vacuum-seal and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. I keep them exactly the same way I would do with extra pesto. You can store them up to 2 months in the freezer for last minute surprise guests.
Published By: on October 27, 2009.