Italian Ricotta Cookies

        From the blog For Love of the Table

4 1/2 c. (500 g.) all purpose flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1/2 lb.unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 c. (400 g.) sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla extract

1/2 t. almond extract

15 oz. full-fat Ricotta cheese (drained if very wet)

6 T. (85 g.) unsalted butter, melted

3 c. (340 g.) powdered sugar

4 1/2 T. heavy cream

1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

3/4 t. almond extract


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs one and a time, beating until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts and blend in.  Add Ricotta cheese and mix until smooth and fully incorporated (the mixture will probably look curdled).   


Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the ingredients come together to make a soft dough.  Chill the dough for an hour or two. 


Drop the dough (see note) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet leaving at least 2 inches between the mounds of dough.  Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 14 minutes (this will depend on size of cookies and your oven so keep an eye on them). Cookies will just be started to get lightly golden around the bottom edges. If you press them lightly they will feel tender, but they will spring back.  Be careful not to over bake—you want them to remain soft and cake-y.


Slide the parchment off the baking sheet and onto a rack. Repeat with all of the dough. 


While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze:  Mix together melted butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and extracts in a bowl until smooth and no lumps remain. Add additional splashes of milk or cream if you want a thinner glaze.  You don't want it to be so thick that it will tear the cookies...but also not so thin that it runs off of the cookies. 


When the cookies are completely cool, spread with the glaze and add colored sprinkles of your choosing.  Allow the glaze to set before storing air tight (separate the layers of cookies with parchment or waxed paper). 


Note:  You may make these cookies in the traditional manner of drop cookies by simply dropping mounds of dough from a spoon onto the baking sheets...or you may use a cookies scoop.  I like to use a scant half tablespoon sized scoop (about 20 grams of dough)...but they are traditionally made larger.  It doesn't really matter what size you make them, as long as they are all the same size (so they will bake evenly).  Depending on the size you make them, you will get 4 to 7 dozen cookies.

(Recipe adapted from the blog Wishes & Dishes)