RICOTTA COOKIES are such a standard among the traditional choices of Italian cookies. They are almost always part of the Italian repertoire of cookie baking. So many of the Italian cookies are really easy to make, and these are no different. They are simple in ingredients and in construction. Making them last until you are ready to serve them will be your biggest task – as they tend to disappear quickly!
When I was a child – too many years ago to count – one thing I looked forward to every year was the Christmas visit of my mother’s cousin Carmela. She arrived every year through our back door – never knocking and cackling in a high pitched voice, in Italian. She did not speak a word of English. Carmela loved my mother and never missed a Christmas visit – sort of blowing in and out quickly like the wind. I loved being there when she came, listening for her high voice calling for my mother. She was a baker extraordinaire and made the very best Italian cookies I have ever tasted before or since. She made all of the familiar ones – all of the many kinds that are usually found on Italian plates and some less well known. Her arrival on Christmas was so welcome as she came with a huge platter of assorted homemade delights that was her gift to us – but especially for my mother. These Ricotta Cookies were always on Carmela’s platter.
My RICOTTA COOKIES contain lemon. I just like them that way, the lemon is more traditional—and so lovely. I try to use the Meyer Lemons, if they are available, as they offer a milder and nicer lemon flavor. You will find these cookies with orange and other flavors as well.
This year, I am also introducing Chocolate Ricotta Cookies which you will find in a later post! The two together make a good start to your Italian cookie list for the Christmas season.
Makes: about 3 1/2 dozen
Prep: about 20 minutes
Bake: 20-25 minutes
1 Stick Butter – softened
1 1/2 C. Sugar
2 1/2 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/4 C. Whole Milk Ricotta
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon juice (Use Meyer Lemons if you can find them.)
Zest of 1 fresh lemon
About 4 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice for glaze ( Use more or less depending upon how it comes together)
2 C. Powdered Sugar for glaze
Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.
Add Eggs, Ricotta, lemon juice and and zest to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix together.
Add the four mixture to the mixer and gently mix in until it just comes together.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop the batter by the tablespoonful or two onto the paper lined sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
Cool the cookies before glazing.
For the glaze: Mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar and drizzle onto the cookies or cover the tops completely. You can add colored sprinkles if you like.
Ohhh yeah! You’re gonna want these! Make RICOTTA COOKIES part of your cookie baking for the season. These are soooo delicious. No Italian cookie platter should be without them!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography