Italian Ricotta Cookies
Soft and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies made with rich ricotta (for moisture and flavor) and finished with a sweet glaze.
- 3 1/2 cups (495g) all-purpose flour*
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups (370g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 15 oz ricotta , whole milk or fresh (1 3/4 cups)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp butter (salted or unsalted), melted
- 3 3/4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice**
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 - 6 Tbsp milk
For the cookies:
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy (scrape down sides and bottom of bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process).
Mix in ricotta and vanilla extract then blend in eggs one at a time. Set mixer on low speed and slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days. Preheat oven to 350 degrees during last 20 minutes of dough chilling.
Scoop chilled dough out 1 Tbsp at a time and shape into balls (if it's too sticky just drop onto sheet using two spoons), drop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (I don't recommend using dark non-stick pans for this recipe since the bottoms will already become pretty golden. Dark pans brown more than uncoated pans do).
Bake in preheated oven 12 - 14 minutes until underside of cookies are golden. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cool dip tops of cookies in glaze and return to wire rack, immediately add sprinkles if using. Allow glaze to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in a single layer.
For the glaze:
In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, lemon juice or almond extract, vanilla and 4 Tbsp milk until smooth, adding in more milk 1 tsp at a time to thin as needed (you don't want it to be very thin, it should be quite a bit thicker than a doughnut glaze).
- *Scoop flour directly from container using measuring cup and level top using a butter knife. Don't whisk or sift before measuring and don't spoon into a cup. I thought I better note that because in the recipe I adapted these from it stated 4 cups flour (480g) but it only took me 3 1/2 cups to get to the weight they had listed and then some (495g). The best option is to use a kitchen scale, I highly recommend investing in one if you don't already have one. I always use mine when baking.
- **You can also use almond extract in place of lemon juice. Start with 1/4 tsp almond extract then add more to taste (then thin glaze with more milk as needed).
- Recipe source: adapted from New York Times