Cookies are a simple dessert to prepare, perfect for enjoying with tea, as a snack, or satisfying your sweet cravings. For those who adore cookies and seek a more refined version of this treat, consider trying Italian ricotta cookies. This beloved holiday favorite adds a delightful touch to your table. Italian ricotta cookies are soft, delectable, and adorned with a sweet glaze, making them a delightful indulgence. While they’re often associated with the holiday season, you can enjoy them anytime.
Begin by preparing your ingredients in advance instead of retrieving them from the fridge as you go along. Ensure that eggs and butter are at room temperature by taking them out of the refrigerator, at least an hour before making the cookies.
The entire process is quite straightforward, requiring just 10 minutes for preparation and 11 minutes for baking. After baking, allow the cookies to rest for at least two hours. However, this isn’t the only pro tip for consistently achieving the best Italian ricotta cookies.
Make the Best Italian Ricotta Cookies – The Complete Guide
Ricotta cookies have their origins deeply rooted in Italian culinary traditions. These delightful treats are believed to have originated in the southern regions of Italy, particularly Sicily. The use of ricotta cheese in cookies reflects the Italians’ passion for incorporating dairy products into their desserts. Over time, these cookies have evolved into a beloved delicacy, enjoyed not only in Italy but also by people around the world, thanks to their delightful texture and flavor.
If you’re looking for the perfect Italian ricotta cookies recipe, then make sure to get hold of the following ingredients and follow the steps mentioned below.
For the Cookies:
– ¾ cup (about 170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 1 and ¾ cups (about 359 grams) granulated sugar
– 2 eggs at room temperature (remove them an hour before making the cookies)
– 15 ounces (about 425 grams) whole milk ricotta cheese
– 1 tablespoon (about 15 ml) vanilla extract (preferably real vanilla extract)
– ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– 3 cups (about 360 grams) all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons lemon zest (use fresh lemons)
For the Glaze:
– ¼ cup (about 60 ml) milk or lemon juice
– 1 and ½ cups (about 180 grams) powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon (about 5 ml) vanilla extract or almond extract
– Optional: Decorate your cookies with sprinkles.
Use measuring cups and spoons to precisely measure each ingredient. When using a cup, level out the dry ingredients and remove excess with a knife. Avoid estimating ingredient amounts, as inaccuracies can result in less-than-ideal cookies.
Baking Your Cookies: 8 Steps
Step#1: Preparing the Dry Ingredients
Use a large mixing bowl for adequate space to mix your dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl. Gently sift through them to separate the particles. Whisk them together and set aside. Be cautious not to overdo it with the baking powder or soda, as they can either flatten or expand your cookies.
Step#2: Creaming the Butter and Sugar
Operate a stand mixer or an egg beater if you don’t have one. Add butter to a large bowl and cream it. Incorporate sugar and lemon zest into the same bowl. Set the mixer to high and blend the ingredients until they become light and fluffy. This usually takes about three minutes and infuses air into the batter.
Step#3: Incorporating Eggs and Flavorings
In the same bowl, add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and ricotta. Maintain the same mixing setting to create a smooth paste. If any ingredients cling to the bowl’s sides, scrape them off and blend the batter again.
Step#4: Combining the Batter
The final step in preparing your cookie batter is to add the flour mixture to the bowl and gently blend it with the rest of the ingredients on a low setting. When you believe the batter is ready, use a spatula to ensure there are no air pockets. If the butter hasn’t fully integrated, use the spatula to ensure consistency. Cover the mixture and let it chill for at least two hours.
Step#5: Prepping for Baking
While the batter chills, preheat your oven to 350°F (176.6°C) after the two hours have passed. Ensure your baking sheet is clean and lined with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to drop tablespoon-sized portions of dough onto the lined baking sheet. Leave approximately two inches between each cookie since they will expand during baking. Any leftover cookie dough can be frozen for up to three months.
Step#6: Baking Perfect Cookies
Bake the cookies for eleven minutes until the bottoms are lightly golden. After removing the tray, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before transferring them. Transferring them too soon can cause them to crumble. Avoid overbaking, as it can make your cookies too hard.
Step#7: Adding the Glaze
While the cookies cool, create a glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix until you have a thin glaze for the cookies. Lightly coat each cooled cookie with the glaze, allowing the excess to drip off. You can choose to add sprinkles or leave them plain. The glaze will take about an hour to set.
Step#8: Serving and Storing Your Cookies
You have various options for serving these cookies. Traditionally, cookies pair well with a glass of milk. To maintain this classic combination, pour a glass of cold milk. Alternatively, if you prefer a more sophisticated beverage, you can serve hot cocoa with your cookies. If the cookies have been refrigerated, it’s a good idea to warm them in the microwave before adding the glaze. For storing cookies, it’s best to freeze them without the glaze. Unglazed cookies can be kept for about three months, so be sure to enjoy them within that timeframe.
In conclusion, don’t hesitate to experiment with new recipes, even if you’re a bit unsure. Making Italian ricotta cookies might seem challenging, but using a trustworthy recipe will provide clear guidance. This recipe is ideal for beginners in cookie-making. The steps are straightforward, the ingredients are basic, and all you need to do is mix them together to witness the delicious outcome. Sooner than you think, you’ll become skilled at preparing Italian ricotta cookies that everyone will adore.