I would like the lemon mace cookie recipe from the bakery Cookie Madness in Chula Vista, Calif.
Lynn Peters, Inverness
Although I'm not familiar with the bakery Lynn mentions, this is one of the easiest cookie recipes I have ever made. Patricia Ozimek of New Port Richey shares this lemon mace cookie recipe. Mace is the bright red lacy covering of the nutmeg seed shell. Because the yield of mace is much less than that of nutmeg, it is more valuable and therefore one of the more expensive spices. A pile of fruit large enough to produce 100 pounds of nutmeg will produce only 1 pound of mace. Mace and nutmeg are similar and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg can be substituted for ¼ teaspoon of ground mace. Both spices are pungent, with mace being bolder.
For uniform cookies, a small scoop works best and produces even baking. I used a small juice glass to flatten the cookies. You may need to butter the bottom more than once. These bake up quickly. My first batch browned more than I wanted at 8 minutes so I baked subsequent batches for 7 minutes. This cookie has a hint of lemon, and the sugar and spice topping is a nice touch. If you plan to make these cookies, do a quick Internet search to find other recipes that include mace. Remember, spices don't last forever.
Dunedin resident Patricia Simpson has been trying to find a ricotta cheesecake recipe and she's hoping a You Asked For It reader can help her.
Candied fruit sources
I received a couple of e-mails asking where candied fruit can be found for the recently published fruit and nut loaf. I have two online sources. Nutsonline.com has a nice selection with prices ranging from $3.99 to $5.99 a pound. Shelf life is six months, and the fruit can be stored in the refrigerator. This site also includes a recipe section worth checking out. Another source is barryfarm.com, which carries a large selection including candied papaya. Prices range from $1.74 to $2.49 for an 8-ounce tub. Larger sizes are available. All prices are before shipping, and I have not personally used either company. An Internet search should produce even more sources.
Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail email@example.com. Include your name, city and phone number.