You may have noticed but right before Christmas my site crashed again. Apparently the theme is outdated and it will continue to crash until I update the theme, which I do not know how to do. Awesome. While the site was down, I received many texts alerting me to the issue and also begging me to send any version of recipes I could for what my friend or acquaintance was trying to make. I was surprised to see so many texts about the ricotta cookies. They aren’t my favorite cookie by any means, but they deserve their place for several reasons.
First, have you had many Italian cookies? Many are cakey and somewhat bland while others are hard as rocks. They go great with coffee or tea (a la biscotti) but they don’t necessarily scratch that itch for sweet. Nonetheless, these are a family favorite that makes an appearance at most holidays; these cookies are cake-like in their mixing method which yields a soft, pillowy cookie. The texture is like those Lofthouse bakery cookies you find at the front of grocery stores. Soft and cakey.
The glaze is most welcome as the cookie itself tastes almost as tame as a sweet biscuit. I added a few drops of red food coloring – these freeze fabulously so I figured they’d be a great lunchbox addition until V-day at least. Make a batch for any nostalgic Italian-Americans you know (most Italian-Americans are nostalgic so it shouldn’t be hard to find one) or even for your kids – mine are crazy about these.
Makes 4-5 dozen
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. ricotta cheese (16 oz)
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. milk
food coloring/sprinkles if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until pale in color and fluffy in texture (about 5 minutes on medium speed).
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl until combined.
3. Whisk ricotta cheese, vanilla and eggs together until smooth.
4. Add flour mixture and ricotta mixture alternately to creamed butter (start with 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 of ricotta, flour, ricotta, flour). Beat mixture after each addition on medium speed until combined.
5. Using two spoons (one to scoop and one to push off), drop batter in 1 tbsp. amounts onto baking sheet, spacing two inches apart.
6. Bake for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk all ingredients for glaze together in medium mixing bowl.
7. Transfer baked cookies to cooling rack and cool completely. Spoon glaze on top of each cookie and swirl to cover if desired. Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles, if using. Let cool until glaze hardens and then store (not totally air tight) at room temperature for several days. Will freeze extremely well.
*The glaze should be thick if you want it to stay on your cookie. I scraped mine into a plastic bag, snipped the corner, and squirted it onto tops of cookies in a tight curlicue.