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Candied Lemons


Candied Lemons

I know this is a “baking” blog, but sometimes, we have to “no bake” to get a great result ;) I came across a lemon pound cake recipe and wanted to work on the garnish a bit. I stumbled across something that I’ve never seen in stores in the Midwest, BUT there are in “citrus” areas. So, with a little research, I was able to figure out how to “candy” some lemons! It’s not super hard, but it does take a little time. . . Here’s How:



Blanching Liquid:

3 C water

1 C Ice

1 C of water



2 C Sugar

2 C Water

2 Lemons (I used smaller ones and that seemed to help with “breaking” the pulp)



¼ C Granulated sugar


Other Stuff:

Medium sized Heavy-bottomed pot

Vegetable mandolin set to the thinnest setting

Paring knife

Slotted spoon


Bowl for ice water

Large high sided skillet

Parchment paper

Cooling rack



Start 3 Cups of water to boil. Cut the ends off of lemons to obtain a flat surface and run each lemon across mandolin set on the thinnest setting (1/8 inch).  There will be seeds that make it through. I use a paring knife to make sure that my lemon slices are as free of seeds as possible. Set up the ice water as soon as the water in the pot comes to a boil.

Blanch the slices by placing them in the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Once water achieves a boil once again, let them boil for about 30 seconds and immediately remove and put them in the ice water.  Repeat this process 2 more times. Why? Well, once you candy the lemons, the pith is trapped in the sugar syrup, but the blanching will take a bit of the bitterness away from the pith.

After the last blanch icing, start to prepare the simple syrup by placing the sugar and water in the large pan over medium heat stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat to just a simmer (Low-Medium Low).  My tell was if there was steam and “tiny bubbles” (reminds me of a song ;)) In one layer, place your lemon slices in the sugar syrup as much in a single layer as possible (some will slide on top of others, it’s okay). These will need to simmer for about 75-90 minutes until they are “transparent” in color: the pith will be not quite but almost see-through instead of opaque.  I set my timer and turn each slice over every 15 minutes during this time with tongs. Be very careful to keep an eye on the sugar syrup, if it starts to boil, it will caramelize and that turns bitter REALLY fast.

Meanwhile, set up a piece of parchment paper on a cooling rack. Once your slices are complete, remove from syrup and place in one layer on the parchment paper. Let them cool for about 30 minutes, and then sprinkle with half of the granulated sugar, and then flip and use the other half on the other side. Save your simple syrup into a jar to let cool and then refrigerate up to 2 weeks. It’s Really GREAT in tea!

Let these sit out overnight to absorb the granulated sugar and then you they should be “dry” enough to put in a container to store. They will remain pliable, and they are DELICIOUS! 

Single Layer in simple syrup

Single Layer in simple syrup

Post candying before sprinkled in sugar. 

Post candying before sprinkled in sugar. 


Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies!


Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies!

Hello Everybody! During the summer season at Cincinnati Opera, we performed Puccini's TOSCA! To keep with the theme, I made some festive Italian Ricotta Cookies! Here's How: 

Lemon Ricotta Cookies: 
Cookie Ingredients: 

3 1/2- 4 cups AP Flour (for my recipe, I don't "scrape" off the measuring cup, so it's a little more than 3 1/2 cups
2 t baking SODA
3/4 t salt (again, a little extra won't hurt if you don't have smaller than a tsp measure)
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 t lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

15 oz ricotta cheese (if you buy 30 oz container, it's about 1 3/4 cup)
1 T vanilla extract
1/2-1 T almond extract

2 eggs, room temperature



Juice from one lemon 

1 1/3 cup confectioners sugar, sifted


This dough needs to chill for a while, so don't start the oven yet!
While you let the butter and eggs come to room temperature, zest your lemon. I like THIS microplane zester. 
Whisk the flour, SODA, salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy.  
Beat in the vanilla, almond and ricotta one at a time until well combined. 
Add in the eggs one at a time. Beating well after each. 

Turn your mixer on "stir" and incorporate the flour mixture about a 1/4 cup at a time. 
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let chill for a minimum of 2 hours (up to a couple days). 

Preheat the oven to 350degF, Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. 
Scoop out the dough into about Tbs balls (I use a small ice cream scoop.. . ) about 2-3 inches apart.  It's a STICKY dough, but has definitely firmed from chilling. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Maybe a little longer if your cookie size is larger. 
Let sit on pan for a couple minutes and then remove to cool completely. It takes about 30 minutes. 

For the glaze: 
Juice that lemon that we zested a few hours back. 
Incorporate a little at a time into the confectioners sugar until your spreading consistency is desired. If you're adding sprinkles, now's the time! 

And VOILA! Beautiful Lemon Ricotta Cookies!