Lemon and ricotta cheese muffins

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Lemon and ricotta are a great combination. Not only are these muffins flavorful, they are incredibly light and fluffy and make for a perfect morning treat. Ricotta, meaning twice-cooked, is made from the whey that is drained off while making cheeses such as mozzarella and provolone, and is technically not a cheese at all. Ricotta can be used on its own or in sweet and savoury dishes. It’s used in many Italian dishes, especially as a stuffing for ravioli or in pastries. It’s quite low in fat, making it a good substitute for mascarpone.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbl. finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tbl. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds

lemon and ricotta muffins

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest until light and fluffy.

Beat in the ricotta. Once that is blended, beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. The batter will be thick and fluffy.

Divide the batter among muffin cups and sprinkle each with almonds and sugar. Gently press the almonds into the batter to prevent them from falling off during baking. Bake about 20 minutes, until the muffins are pale golden on top.