Italian Ricotta Cookies are little perfect little bites of cake. They are soft, with a mild flavor, and topped with colorful sprinkles!
I will be totally honest with you…those Italian cookie platters at the holidays have never been my most favorite. They all just seem kinda…I dunno…boring?
Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in an Italian household where I love them because they’re nostalgic. I feel like they’re all the same cookie in different shapes. Like a whole tray of the EXACT same cookie, made to look different because some have sprinkles and others have jam. Kinda like the cookie version of pasta…ALL THE SAME, but different shapes. I’m sensing a theme here, Italians! jkjk.
I mean, just because I don’t love them doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole word out there that does. I get it…kinda. I mean, my husband included IS Italian, with an Italian mother. So basically I am about to be shunned from Christmas Eve.
I decided to throw my hand in the ring and see if I could make an Italian Cookie that I like! And mission accomplished! I certainly don’t think I’ve reinvented the wheel here, but I tweaked a classic recipe enough that these are totally classic and delicious.
The dough comes together so quickly and they bake up pretty perfect, if I do say so myself!
Why Add Ricotta?
Here’s the deal with these. They are soft and cakey, so if you’re not into cakey cookies these might not be for you. BUT the ricotta cheese gives them such a yummy texture. I am all about how these turned out.
The ricotta cheese adds richness, while keeping the cookies soft and tender.
They can, sure! But Anisette Cookies aren’t my favorite, so I used vanilla extract in these as well as almond extract in the glaze icing. This gives them a subtle almond flavor that I think it perfect!
I find that dipping the cookies in the glaze icing works best! You can drizzle it on top as well, but dipping gives you a uniform coating and is fast!
And then you have to have sprinkles!
I feel like I’ll give Italian cookies another shot. Maybe.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3–4 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix for an additional minute until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until a dough forms. Portion out the dough using a medium (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop. Roll into balls and place on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden.
- Transfer to a wire rack.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk, together until smooth. Spoon the glaze over warm cookies or alternately, dip the cookies into the gaze, and sprinkle with colored candy sprinkles.
Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days for best freshness.
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