Italian ricotta cookies with glaze drying on a wire rack

Italian Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Italian ricotta cookies are thick, soft, cake-like crumb texture cookies with a simple sweet glaze that is a tradition during Christmas and Easter holidays!

These are great Christmas cookies or just switch up the colored nonpareil sprinkles to match the holiday or any day you are baking these treats for. They are super simple to make and always a favorite cookie everyone enjoys!

Italian ricotta cookies with glaze drying on a wire rack

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Don’t worry the ricotta only makes these cookies soft and moist, you do not taste the ricotta cheese!

There are a ton of recipes out there and most families have their own traditional recipe. I tested a lot of recipes to reach the desired flavor I was looking to achieve.

Although my grandparents were from Siciliy we never made these Italian cookies, so we didn’t have a family recipe.

Italian ricotta cookies with glaze drying on a wire rack

Ingredients Needed to Make Ricotta Cookies Recipe

  • All-purpose flour – Always aerate, scoop, and level the flour.
  • Baking powder – This recipe uses one tablespoon of baking powder which helps give the typical height that’s traditional.
  • Unsalted butter – Softened at room temperature. I’ve added salt in test and it wasn’t necessary in my opinion.
  • Granulated sugar – Adds that sweetness we expect with cookies.
  • Vanilla extract – Use a good quality pure vanilla extract in all your baked goods.
  • Almond extract – Almond extract is used in a lot of traditional Italian desserts.
  • Eggs – Room temperature is always best to incorporate better in baked goods.
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese – The ricotta adds richness and moisture to these cookies. The brand I use is Galbani. It tends to be less watery.
  • Powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • Milk or heavy cream
  • Sprinkles

How to Make Italian Ricotta Cookies Recipe

In a medium bowl whisk the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

In a large bowl or in a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.

ricotta beat into the creamed butter and sugar

Add the two teaspoons vanilla extract and almond extract, then add the eggs one at a time and mix well until combined. Add the ricotta and mix until combined and smooth.

Italian ricotta cookie dough in the mixing bowl

Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until it’s just combined. The dough will be sticky. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour. This makes it easier to roll into balls.

You can bake these immediately after mixing the dough but I highly recommend chilling the dough. It makes rolling into balls easier and they spread less.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

ricotta cookie dough balls on parchment lined baking sheet

Using a size #40 cookie scoop (which is 1 1/2 tablespoons) scoop a rounded amount of cookie dough and then roll it into a ball. Place on the lined baking sheets about 1 1/2″ apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking pan for about 2 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

How to Glaze Ricotta Cookies

Italian ricotta cookies with glaze drying on a wire rack

Mix the powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of milk at a time. Stir until a smooth thick glaze is formed. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.

Dip the top of the cookie into the glaze and allow the excess to drip off. You don’t want it too thick, so allow a good bit to drip off. Immediately add the sprinkles. You can also spoon the glaze over.

But be sure to add the sprinkles after dipping each cookie otherwise, they will not stick.

Allow the glaze to set completely before storing.

Serve and enjoy these melt in your mouth delicious ricotta cookies! Bet ya can’t eat just one.

Can You Freeze Homemade Ricotta Cookies?

Yes, you can bake the cookies in advance and freeze them before icing. Store in an air-tight container, the baked cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter and glaze when ready to enjoy.

Italian ricotta cookies with glaze drying on a wire rack

How Long Can You Keep Italian Ricotta Cookies?

Store them in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days at room temperature or refrigerate them for up to a week.

Italian ricotta cookies with glaze drying on a wire rack

Italian Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Italian ricotta cookies are thick, soft, cake-like crumb cookies with a simple sweet glaze that is a tradition during Christmas and Easter holidays!
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cookies, italian, ricotta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Servings: 60
Calories: 108kcal
Author: DSTR

Ingredients

For the Ricotta Cookies

  • 4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1 cup Unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 2 large Eggs room temperature
  • 15 oz Whole milk ricotta

For the Ricotta Cookie Glaze

  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp Milk or heavy cream or more
  • Nonpareils any color

Instructions

Italian Ricotta Cookies

  • In a medium-size bowl whisk the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and granulated sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla, almond extract, then add the eggs one at a time and mix well until combined. Add the ricotta and mix until combined and smooth.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until it’s just combined. The dough will be sticky. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Using a size #40 cookie scoop (which is 1 1/2 tablespoons) scoop a rounded amount of dough and then roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking pan for about 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze

  • Mix the powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of milk at a time. Stir until the glaze is smooth thick glaze is formed. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.
  • Dip the top of the cookie into the glaze and allow the excess to drip off. Immediately add the sprinkles. You can also spoon the glaze over. But be sure to add the sprinkles after dipping each cookie otherwise, they will not stick.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Adapted from thisitaliankitchen

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