Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nice to meet you, Italian Ricotta Cookies

Mike’s eyes lit up last week as a thought occurred to him.

“Have you ever made ricotta cookies?” he asked, wide-eyed.
“Ricotta cookies? That sounds weird,” I said.
“No, no, no. They’re soooo good.” He tried to explain the texture, the shape, the ingredients. All I could gather was that they have ricotta cheese in them, and they’re round or oval. And he used to eat them a lot as a kid.
I stored that info in the back of my brain to pull out at a later date. That later date came over the weekend, when my friend Kelly and I were discussing the finer points of baking.
“Oh, have you ever heard of ricotta cookies? Mike wants me to make them, but I have no idea what they are,” I said.
“Oh my god, dude! Yes! Those. Are. So. Good. I bet they’re really hard to make, though. They’re just too good to be easy.”
Well, that sealed it. I was intrigued. I logged on to, and began searching. After much recipe-perusing and comment-reading, I decided to use the cookie instructions from one recipe and the glaze instructions from another.
The result? Some really good cookies that elicited an “Aaaah, YEAH!” from Mike, and began a war with two of his female co-workers over which one should get to “marry” me.
They’re light, almost cake-like, and the glaze gives an extra layer of taste and texture. And they were amazingly uncomplicated. It only took me about an hour or so to make the dough, bake them, glaze them, and clean up.
You must try them.

Cookie Ingredients
*1 cup butter
*2 cups white sugar
*2 eggs
*16 ounces ricotta cheese
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*4 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda

Glaze Ingredients
*5 tablespoons milk
*1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
*1 teaspoon almond extract
*Colored candy sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the ricotta cheese and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda, stir into the ricotta mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. In a medium bowl, beat milk, confectioners' sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Spoon over warm cookies, and sprinkle with colored candy sprinkles.

Source: Ricotta Cookies III (cookies) and Ricotta Cookies II (glaze)

Some thoughts:
I didn’t want to make a ton of cookies, so I halved all the cookie ingredients. I still got about 36-40 cookies out of the batch.
After tasting one cookie, Mike requested more glaze. To accommodate plenty of glaze for all cookies, I had to make a second batch of glaze. The first time, I used almond extract. The second time, I used vanilla. Both were good.
Mike also said he was used to a whiter, thicker glaze. My glaze was fairly thin and almost clear in color. I think it’s because I used skim milk, which is what we had on hand. If you want a thicker, creamier glaze, I’d recommend using 2 percent or whole milk.
I didn't use sprinkles this time because I could tell my glaze was too thin (and therefore hardened too fast) to hold them, but I'll add them on top next time when I use a thicker milk.


Kelly Carr

All I can say is wow. Seriously. These taste just like the East Coast ones I have dreamed of. I brought them into work and it brought instant popularity, not an easy thing to achieve at my office. Thanks!

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