This is the best recipe for Italian Ricotta Cookies. These cookies are light and cakey in texture, super soft, not too sweet and packed with fresh ricotta cheese. You'll love this version of the traditional Italian cookie for everyday baking and holidays!
For the Cookies
- 1 c unsalted butter (softened at room temp)
- 2 c granulated sugar
- 2 eggs (room temp)
- 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese (room temp, drained of excess moisture - I recommend using Galbani brand- no need to strain!)
- 1 tsp extract if desired (anise, vanilla, almond and lemon are good choices!)
- 3 ¾ c all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- a small bowl of water (set aside)
For the Glaze
- 6 tbsp milk
- 3 c powdered sugar
- Non-peril sprinkles for the tops!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter & sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer (this will take about 2-3 minutes of mixing).
- Add the eggs and ricotta cheese. Combine until thoroughly mixed and there are no pockets of cheese. Add extract if using.
- In a separate bowl, measure the flour (be sure to aerate and scoop into the measuring cup) and sift. Whisk in baking powder and salt.
- With the hand mixer on the lowest speed setting, slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Once 98% of the flour is absorbed, turn off the mixer and stir the rest by hand using a spoon or spatula. Once you no longer see any flour, stop mixing. Do not over mix.
- Using a tablespoon or 1 ½ tablespoon sized cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the sheet pan.
- Dip your fingers in water and pat the tops of the cookies to smooth them out a bit. That way, the cookies won't have craggy tops!
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until puffy and barely golden brown. These are easy to over bake; pull them out of the oven once they start to brown on the edges.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray before moving them to a cooling rack to fully cool.
- Prepare the glaze by mixing the milk, sugar & optional extract into a bowl. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and set on a rack. Wait 2 minutes before adding the sprinkes. Allow to sit until glaze harden (about 2 hours).
- These will keep for 3-4 days or up to 3 months frozen.
Recipe by Owlbbaking.com
Cheese: You want ricotta cheese to be on the drier side so your dough/batter doesn't get too wet. If the ricotta is too milky and wet, you'll end up with flat cookies. When I can, I like to use a high quality, small batch ricotta cheese. When that's not an option, I prefer to use Galbani brand whole milk ricotta cheese. This brand works best for this recipe.
If you cannot find Galbani at your supermarket, any other whole milk ricotta will work fine. However, you'll likely need to remove some of the moisture from the cheese before adding it to your batter. You can do this by scooping the cheese onto a plate and blotting it with paper towels until most of the moisture is soaked up. Or, you could use a cheese cloth and allow the cheese to drain in a sieve overnight. I've always had to do this with Polly-O & generic brands.
You’ll know when it’s ready; cheese should be moldable and not stick to your fingers.
Flour: I like to blend my AP flour with some Tipo 00 flour for these cookies, but it's not necessary. I find it gives the cookies extra lightness since Tipo 00 flour is very finely ground. If you're familiar with Tipo 00 flour, you know that it's normally used for making fresh pasta & pizza dough. Based on my research, this flour is not normally used for baking cookies or cakes. All the same, I find it makes the cookies extra light!
If you're interested in using Tipo 00 flour, use 256g of this flour AND 2 cups of all purpose. This blend will replace the 3 3/4 c all purpose flour in this recipe.
*Lemon Variation of Ricotta Cookies*
If you're looking for something different, try adding a pop of lemon! Add the zest of two lemons to the dough and sub 2 tbsp of lemon extract for the glaze in place of the milk
Keywords: Ricotta Cookies, Italian Cookies