Italian Ricotta Cookies are one of my favorite cookies to make when the holidays hit. Mostly because I used to make them a lot with one of my good friends when I was in high school. They’ve got that nostalgic air about them every time I whip some up.
A lot of people are turned off by the idea of Ricotta in their cookies. I think it’s magnificent though : ) It adds a wonderful moistness to the dough. They are almost cake-like cookies, but not quite because of the density caused by the ricotta. Either way, I like to think of them as Italian sugar cookies because you can’t even tell there is ricotta in them.
I wasn’t able to take any step-by-step photos since I had to rush these off in the early morning when there wasn’t any natural light. I made these Italian ricotta cookies for a Holiday party this last week along with red velvet cream cheese brownies and Oreo cheesecake cookies. A pretty good line up for a Christmas party if I don’t say so myself!
I got a little lazy towards the end of glazing the ricotta cookies… I decided it would be more efficient to make a mess out of them and just do a group drizzle/sprinkle. Well, it was more efficient but it certainly looks better if you brush/spread the glaze on. OH! And if you want to add sprinkles on top of the glaze you need to sprinkle immediately after glazing otherwise they won’t stick. You can see in this photo that even after drizzling on the icing, the icing had already hardened and the sprinkles just fell off. So be QUICK! I usually spread and then sprinkle, spread and then sprinkle, etc, etc, one cookie at a time. Unless you have a helper : ) then you can make up an assembly line and things go by much quicker.
*Update: I just changed the glaze recipe to one that isn’t warmed on the stovetop, this should give you more time to sprinkle before the glaze hardens. Plus your hands will be spared any third degree burn damage…*
Did I mention that Italian ricotta cookies showcase almond extract? Yeah… well they do and it’s awesome.
I absolutely love almond flavored sweets : D
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- For Glaze:
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp almond or vanilla extract
- about 4 Tb milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated. Mix in ricotta cheese and extract.
- Add the dry mixture to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls on sheet pan. Bake 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool 2 minutes on pan and then remove to wire cooling rack.
- To make glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, extract of choice, and the milk until a glazing consistency is reached. When cookies have cooled completely, spread on glaze and immediately sprinkle if desired.