Italian Ricotta Cookies

By Isabella Brady

Light in consistency, yet rich in taste, Italian Ricotta Cookies are a holiday favorite in my family. I’ve made these cookies multiple times, and they are very simple. You can make the dough up to two days in advance, and freeze them for up to two months if you make a large batch. The cookies themselves are nicely complimented by the sweet glaze on top, and typically topped with holiday sprinkles. You can personalize these cookies to your preference, so friends like myself with nut allergies, do not fret! One can easily replace the almond extract with lemon juice, a delicious combination with the ricotta flavor. If lemon cookies are a favorite, simply add more lemon juice and some lemon zest to your liking. For anyone unconvinced of a cheese-based cookie, ricotta is in a variety of culinary favorites such as cannolis, ricotta cheesecakes and lasagna, and it gives the cookie a delicious taste and a moist, cake-like texture. I highly recommend these cookies for anyone interested in trying a new and simple recipe this holiday season. 

Ingredients

  • 2 stick ( 1/2 pound) butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • For the Glaze
  • 4-5 tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture; mix well. Roll or scoop the dough into teaspoon-sized balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, powdered sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and set upright back on the wire rack. Immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat for remaining cookies.