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Italian Ricotta Cookies

Tis the season…for cookies!!!!

Baking is my favorite holiday tradition and every year my holiday cookie assortment gets larger and larger.  Cookies make great gifts for friends and coworkers, and I try make for something for every cookie pallet.  So every year I take a weekend and bake like it’s my full time job.  I just can’t help myself.  There’s something so festive feeling about taking a weekend and baking 250 cookies.

Yes.  250 cookies.  In a weekend.  In my apartment kitchen.

Needless to say, I was exhausted after the weekend and very much looking forward to bringing a big tin into work the next day.  Although all the cookies were eaten (after about 2 hours), these Italian Ricotta Cookies earned the most praise!

I am in complete agreement with the masses; these cookies are light, fluffy, slightly sweet, citrusy, and just ever so pretty.  I think my favorite part about these cookies is they can be tailored to any holiday you like, just switch up the sprinkles and you have yourself a treat for every occasion!

So go forth and bake, these Italian Ricotta Cookies will not disappoint!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Yield: 30 cookies


  • For cookies:
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 c. granulated sugar (217 grams)
  • 1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. ricotta (7.5 oz.)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c. AP flour (240 grams)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • For glaze:
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. orange juice (about 1 orange)


  1. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  2. Add ricotta, vanilla, zests, and egg. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Adjust baking rack to top third of oven.
  6. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop (or two spoons, but it looks better with a cookie scoop), portion dough out onto cookie sheet. This recipe makes a lot of dough, so you will probably need to bake 3-4 batches of cookies.
  7. Bake for 8-15 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown on the bottom (you will be able to see the golden color peeking out from under the cookie). Note: I have a gas oven and it takes only about 8 minutes to bake these cookies, but I've noticed the baking times can be a bit longer with electric ovens. Start with 8 minutes and go from there, adding in 2 minute increments as needed.
  8. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.
  9. Once cookies are cool, whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth. Dip tops of cookies one at a time, top with sprinkles, and return to cooling rack to set.

Adapted from the New York Times recipe.

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