Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #263: Open Arms Lemon Ricotta Cookies

By Stephanie Mork, Open Arms Photojournalist Intern

Open Arms Pastry Manager AnnaMarie Rigelman gets butter ready for a giant batch of cookies for our clients.

If you’ve been to the Open Arms building when there are lemon ricotta cookies out, you’ll know that they don’t last long. These cookies have been a volunteer, staff, client, intern, everyone favorite, especially in the summer with the fresh lemon taste – it’s almost as if you are eating a citrus fruit instead, with just a little sugar.

Made from scratch by our very own talented bakery experts, the cookie is buttery and flaky while the frosting is tangy and creamy. Could you ask for more in a cookie?
Now you can make these yummy little treats at home so you don’t have to try and snag them from the treat bowl at Open Arms before they are gone. They make great treats for parties, potlucks, you name it.

Open Arms Lemon Ricotta Cookies

(Yields about 6 dozen)


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Using an electric mixer, cream 2 sticks butter with sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add ricotta, lemon zest and 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and beat well. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula, then beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Cover dough and chill for at least 2 hours and up to a week.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line several cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners. Shape tablespoons of dough into balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake until pale golden on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.
  3. Melt remaining tablespoon butter. Whisk confectioners’ sugar to break up any large lumps, then whisk in melted butter, lemon juice, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and enough milk to make a spreadable icing. Spread icing on cooled cookies, then let set for at least 20 minutes before serving.

See more weekly recipes>>
Cook with us in the Open Arms kitchen! Sign up for a volunteer orientation>>
Support fresh, delicious meals for people living with life-threatening illnesses by donating to Open Arms>

More from Open Arms

Open Arms Receives Regional Philanthropy Award

Open Arms named a Regional Philanthropy Award recipient at the 2022 Fundraise North Conference by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter Open Arms was one of the recipients of a Regional Philanthropy Award on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the 2022 Fundraise North Conference

Read More »

YESvember 2022 Central

Here’s everything you need to know about Yesvember 2022 at Open Arms! November is a magical month for Open Arms of Minnesota. Since 2015, Open Arms has turned NOvember into YESvember for all our clients across Minnesota. We are not only preparing and delivering

Read More »

Open Arms Mask Policy Update (8/30/22)

Masks Welcomed But Not Required at Open Arms Facilities as of 8/30/2022 As of Tuesday, August 30, masks will be highly encouraged, but optional, in both Open Arms buildings for everyone who is considered fully vaccinated – staff and volunteers. Open Arms has responded

Read More »