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Italian Ricotta Cookies

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Italian ricotta cookies are a classic cookie favorite! This soft and moist ricotta cookie recipe is flavored with vanilla extract and lemon juice and zest for a bright flavor and topped with a simple glaze and sprinkled with Christmas sprinkles.

In my childhood, I have eaten a lot of cookies during the holidays, but for some reason, these beautiful cookies have escaped me!

I wasn't introduced to these until last year, and right away I knew I was going to have to make them and share the recipe with y'all.

Easy Italian ricotta cookies for Christmas

What are Ricotta Cookies?

Baking with ricotta is not an everyday thing for us. Not to worry though. It’s a staple in savory pasta dishes like my lasagna with homemade noodles and this Apple and Proscuitto Pizza but is just as versatile in sweet recipes.

Ricotta adds a little moisture and gives your cookies a cake-like consistency.

Over shot of the ricotta christmas cookies

Traditionally glazed and topped with fun sprinkles, Italian ricotta cookies are often made around Christmas and Easter.

How to Make Italian Ricotta Cookies

Cream together the softened butter and sugar. I like to use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer for this. Mix it on medium to medium-high speed for two minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Look for the mixture to have lightened in color a bit and become creamy and fluffed up.

Mix in the egg until combined.

Beautiful ricotta cookies for the holidays

Add the ricotta, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla extracts and mix well until everything is evenly combined.

Now, Add your dry ingredients to a separate mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients in three portions, mixing each in until just combined.

Once the dough is all mixed together, and very thick, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, but overnight works, too.

The best Christmas Cookie made with ricotta cheese and lemon

Once the dough is has been resting in the fridge, form about one-and-a-half tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for around 15 minutes, or until the tops have set and the bottoms are just turning golden- brown.

Let the cookies cool for 15 minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before we put the glaze on them.

Italian Ricotta cookies are great for Christmas

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Spoon glaze over the top of the cookies and decorate with sprinkles.

How do you store ricotta cookies?

Store cookies in an air-tight container for several days with a sheet of parchment or wax paper between layers to prevent the glaze from sticking to other cookies.

Check out these other Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies for Santa

Wednesday Christmas Cookie Recipes

Yield: 35 cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

These classic cookies are a favorite dessert for Christmas. Flavored with vanilla and lemon for a light and fluffy cookie.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup of butter softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 1/2 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the glaze

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Christmas sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In the stand mixer or in a bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy, and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the egg and beat until it is combined.
  3. Now add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined well.
  4. In another bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. You can leave longer, even overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Use a cookie scoop and scoop the dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Roll the cookies into a quick ball and place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 14-16 minutes. When the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned, pull them out of the oven. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Once the cookies are cooled, mix together the glaze ingredients and spoon the glaze over the cookies.
  11. Top with fun Christmas sprinkles. Let the glaze harden completely before serving.
  12. Store in an airtight container with wax paper in between.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

34

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 83mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g

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