Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 3 cookies sheets with parchment paper as this will make for easy release of the cookies and set aside.
Pulse the granulated sugar with the lemon zest in a food processor for about 1 minute so as to infuse the sugar with the lemon scent.
Place the lemon sugar and the softened butter in a large bowl and beat until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, ricotta cheese and the vanilla until well combined.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and stir this into the ricotta mixture.
Using a small cookie scoop of about 1 1/2 inch in size, scoop out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart so that they have room to expand. Or simply measure out a heaping tablespoon if you don't have a cookie scoop.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the bottoms are golden in color.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and in the meantime prepare the lemon glaze.
FOR THE LEMON GLAZE
Place the icing sugar and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl and whisk in the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, until a desired consistency is achieved.
Dunk the top of the ricotta cookies into the lemon glaze and place on a wire rack with a tray underneath to catch any drippings.
Sprinkle with nonpareils of your choice and then allow the lemon glaze to set before serving.