During much of the year I make all kinds of food, but when December rolls around, I tend to lean in closer to my roots.
Every Christmas I make lasagna, and I search for an Italian Christmas cookie, like last year’s cucidate, an Italian fig cookie and these date cookies rolled in sesame seeds.
Truth be told, I would love to just pull up to an Italian bakery and buy several dozen Italian cookies from a good Italian bakery, but I live in Nashville, and such bakeries don’t exist, as there is not much of an Italian culture.
This is probably one of the easiest cookies you will ever make. If you’re not a baker, but you want your holiday season to be adorned with a festive cookie, this is the one, that will look pretty and I promise everyone will love.
Italian Ricotta Cookies are like little soft cakes.
Italian cookies steal my heart because they are not that sweet. Ricotta cookies are heavenly, and will remind you of a the softest sugar cookie you ever ate. I added in some freshly ground nutmeg because that adds that little bit of something something that reminds me of Christmas. I used an orange glaze, but you could use an almond glaze or vanilla glaze.
Make several batches in advance. You can freeze the cookie dough or bake and freeze the cookies, prior to glazing. If you make them a dozen at a time, make the glaze one cup of confectioner’s sugar at a time.
So tell me, do you make any family recipes? I’m not an avid cookie maker, but I feel compelled at Christmas to do so.
Italian Ricotta Christmas Cookies
Author: Angela Roberts
Recipe type: Cookies
Italian Christmas Ricotta Cookies, the best softest sugar cookie you will ever eat.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Orange Glaze Ingredients
- 4-5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons orange juice!
Almond Glaze Instructions
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- few drops of almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and cream.
- Add eggs and incorporate.
- Add vanilla.
- Add ricotta cheese
- Mix together dry ingredients with a whisk.
- Add dry ingredients to ricotta mixture. Mix well.
- Roll or scoop into tablespoon-sized ball. You can make the cookies smaller. I like this larger size.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms of cookie are golden brown.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove to a rack.
- Place a piece of parchment paper under rack.
- Glaze cookies. Add sprinkles.
Orange Glaze Instructions
- Mix confectioner's sugar with orange juice or freshly squeezed orange until you have a glaze the consistency thick enough to not run down the sides.
- Sprinkle immediately.
Almond Glaze Instructions
- Mix together milk with almond extract.Go gently on extract. Taste as you go. 1 cup of confectioner's sugar per tablespoon of iiquid.
- Note: In total, the cookies will need 4-5 cups confectioner's sugar to make enough glaze if you use a thick glaze like I do.
If you need gluten free, this transfers well with a good gluten free flour. I prefer Bob's Red Mill one to one flour.