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Italian Christmas cookies made with ricotta

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This soft and delicate sugar cookie is absolutely delicious! You can never have enough of them. These cookies are a wonderful mix of ricotta cheese, sugar, and vanilla with butter cream frosting on top. The ricotta gives it such a tender and light crumb, it makes it easy to eat more than one.

Sometimes called Italian Christmas Cookies, these cookies are commonly baked at the holidays and sprinkled with colored sugars and other decorations. The lightness of the cookie itself makes it perfect for the sweetness of the butter cream frosting.

Ricotta is commonly used in baking in many European countries. In the United States, we think of it only as a filling for lasagna and manicotti. Ricotta made in Italy is usually much sweeter than the ricotta made in the U.S

In this recipe and in many other recipes, you will see that the dry ingredients are mixed together in a separate bowl before being added to the other ingredients. There are multiple reasons for this. Many recipes, including muffins, brownies, and some cakes and cookies will be lighter if the flour is mixed in just enough to be well-incorporated – therefore, the flour, leavening, and other dry ingredients need to be mixed together prior to their addition to the other ingredients. In some recipes, the dough will be very stiff and hard to mix together well. Mixing the dry ingredients together prior to adding them, ensures they will be mixed together thoroughly.

Ricotta Cookie Recipe

Ingredients for Ricotta Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Directions for making Ricotta Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the baking sheets and set them aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the ricotta and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add it to the ricotta mixture.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until set. Remove from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

When the cookies are completely cooled, frost them with butter cream frosting (see recipe below). As soon as one cookie is frosted, decorate it with sprinkles (if you wait, the frosting will set and the sprinkles will not stick).
(from tasteofhome.com)

Butter Cream Frosting Recipe

Ingredients for Butter Cream Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 – 6 tablespoons milk (just enough for spreading consistency)

Directions for making Butter Cream Frosting:

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add just enough milk until the frosting is spreadable.

Other delicious cookie recipes:

Paula Deen’s Christmas Cookie Recipe – yummy!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Thumbprint cookies with dulce de leche

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