Italian Ricotta Cookies

My friend Lizzie is a full on Italian princess, you could drop her in the middle of any Italian town or city and with her long brown hair, incredible figure, awesome taste, and striking eyes she would fit right in.  She has 3 boys and recently found out she’s having a baby girl!  For her Italian themed baby shower she requested these special cookies that are made with Ricotta cheese, I had never heard of them, but was delighted to oblige her request.  They were a huge hit! My family loved them because I don’t often make cookies like this, it’s almost like a fancy and elegant sugar cookie, but the texture is a mix between a cookie and a pastry.  The cheese balances the flavor and adds some fun and interesting depth instead of just a boring sugar sweet cookie.  For the icing, I added some almond extract and sprinkled them with gold just to be extra bourguie.  Next time I make them I’m going to add about a tablespoon of orange zest because I think they would be brilliantly complimented by some citrus, but all who I served them to went crazy over them just the way they are, PERFECTO! (That’s Italian for perfect right?…)

(please note this makes a large quantity, but it’s handy because you use an entire package of ricotta, you could always half it and use the rest in your lasagna or other Italiano recipe)

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese (my carton had 16 which worked out fine)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4-5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
decorative sprinkles of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (but you can place cookies directly on ungreased cookie sheets and they would be okay)
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract.  Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and blend into the creamed mixture, mixing in additional flour as necessary to form a workable dough.  You don’t want it too dry, but you need to be able to handle it enough to roll into balls.  I ended up wearing gloves and dipping them in flour a number of times just to make things less messy.
  3. Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls, I used my cookie scoop.  Arrange with a little room to expand on your baking sheet.
  4. Bake 9-11 minutes until lightly browned and nicely risen.
  5. For the glaze beat milk, confectioners sugar, and almond extract until smooth.  Spoon over cookies and before the glaze sets sprinkle with your decorative sugar or sprinkles.
  6. If you have loads more than you can eat or feed people over a few days freeze some before you glaze them to eat another time and just glaze them once defrosted.
Italian Ricotta Cookies by

Recipe adapted from all recipes Ricotta cookies II 



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