It’s been a full on baking whirlwind in the Amundsen house lately! As usual for the month of December I’ve kept myself busy making all sorts of cookies, candies, and a whole bunch of other goodies. We’re even making caramel and chocolate dipped pretzel rods this weekend as client gifts. Yeah…I’m pretty sure I’ve already gained 10 pounds from all the Christmas treats! I think a change of eating habits is going to need to happen in January (our diet starts tomorrow…). But for now, I say bring on the treats! No shame right? It IS the holidays after all (I know, bad excuse).
Every December I love to make sugar cookies. It was always an annual tradition in my household growing up. But, I’ve quickly realized how much work they are. Let’s be real here. You have to make the dough, put it in the refrigerator, roll it out and cut it, bake it, wait for it to cool (which feels like forever!), make the frosting, and then decorate the cookies. So much work right?!? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love sugar cookies. I mean they are beautiful and delicious, but they require A LOT of dedication and work. So this year, I decided to try something different!
I found a new recipe, and I honestly had no idea what to expect from it. I mean…ricotta? In cookies? Really? I thought that was just used in lasagna… Just you wait though, I promise it’s wayyy better than it sounds.
Italian Ricotta Cookies are traditional Italian cookies often made around Christmas time. These cookies have a soft, cake-like texture, due to the addition of ricotta cheese. And if you’re wondering, the ricotta does not make the cookies taste like cheese. It simply helps to create a beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth, tender cookie.
While you certainly could just enjoy these cookies plain (I may be guilty of trying a couple before they were frosted), they taste divine with a light, lemon-flavored icing on top. Or if you aren’t much of a lemon fan, you could also try other flavor variations like almond or orange.
If you’re in need of a quick neighbor gift or a treat to take to a Christmas party, this is the perfect recipe to make. They are so easy and festive, and certainly won’t disappoint!
Italian Ricotta CookiesPrint Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 sugar
- zest of half a lemon
- 15 oz ricotta
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar, until fluffy.
Add lemon zest, ricotta and vanilla extract. Beat well.
Beat in eggs one at a time, and mix until well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, mix until combined.
Cover dough and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Drop by rounded tablespoons on baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies is golden brown.
Transfer cookies to cooling rack.
For the glaze:
In a mixing bowl, mix together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and fresh lemon juice. Adding more milk as necessary to make a smooth icing.
Dip cooled cookies in icing. Allow icing to set before storing in an airtight container.