If Christmas, Love, Tradition, Pure Heaven, and 10 Extra Holiday Pounds could be baked up in a cookie…my Italian Ricotta Cookies would be it! I have been making dozens upon dozens of these amazing little pillows of joy every Christmas for well over 25 years now. I used to make them every year with my Mom, but now I make them every year with Sky for our family, my co-workers and our friends. These are my absolute favorite cookie…and I rarely meet a cookie I don’t like!
My Italian Ricotta Cookies originated as a family recipe, and over the years, I made a few tweeks here and there to suit my tastes and make the recipe my own. These are a moist, cake-like cookie frosted with a soft buttercream frosting that awakens your taste buds and satisfies your sweet tooth. The only downfall to these yum-bombs is that you legitimately cannot eat just one!
Sometimes, for special occasions, ergo Sky’s 3rd Birthday party, I dust the recipe off and add them to the menu. Although they are a part of my Christmas tradition, they make the perfect addition to any gathering at any time of the year and also can be the perfect snack for any old regular day!
So, without further adieu, let’s get onto the ingredients. For the cookies, you’re going to need flour, baking soda, Himalayan pink salt, salted butter, Galbani Ricotta Cheese made with whole milk (Note: you can use whatever ricotta cheese you like, but this is my absolute favorite brand for these cookies), vanilla extract, sugar, and eggs.
For the vanilla buttercream frosting, you will need vegetable shortening, salted butter, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar, and milk or heavy cream.
To make the cookies, begin by preheating your oven to 375˚F and prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with ungreased silpats; set aside. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, blend the softened butter with the ricotta cheese until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract. Mix well. Add the sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and blend until fully incorporated. I like to refrigerate the batter overnight to make it easier to roll the cookies, but this step is not necessary.
Flour your hands and roll small balls of dough like meatballs (the dough will be very moist). Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. The tops will not be brown.
This recipe makes about 72 cookies (give or take), depending on the size you choose to make them.
To make the vanilla buttercream frosting, in a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk (or cream) and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep frosting covered until ready to decorate.
As soon as your cookies have cooled completely, spread a thin layer of frosting on the top and decorate with the sprinkles of your choosing. Store in an airtight container.
I guarantee these cookies will be a crowd pleaser, if you can bring yourself to share them!
Italian Ricotta Cookies
These delicious Italian Ricotta Cookies are a moist, soft, cake-like cookie smothered in the most delicious vanilla buttercream frosting and belong on every holiday and party table!
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
2 sticks salted butter
16 ounces Galbani ricotta cheese (whole milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with ungreased silpats; set aside.
- Cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, blend softened butter with ricotta cheese until creamy. Add vanilla. Mix well. Add sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and blend until fully incorporated. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Flour hands and roll small balls of dough like meatballs (the dough will be very moist). Place dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are slightly brown; tops will not be brown. Cool completely.
- Makes about 72 cookies, depending on size.
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk (or cream) and continue mixing until light and fluffy. If it is too stiff to spread, add in more milk (or cream) to thin it out a bit. Keep frosting covered until ready to decorate cookies.
- As soon as cookies have cooled completely, spread a thin layer of frosting on the top of each and decorate with the sprinkles. Store in an airtight container.