If you haven’t embraced the delights that come with ricotta baking, may I present this ricotta cookies recipe to make you a believer! I know a lot of people who curl their noses at the mention of ricotta cheese, and honestly, I can understand the aversion — lumpy milk is kind of weird.
But I promise you, these ricotta cookies are nothing but creamy and perfectly soft, sweetened with a delicious almond glaze and topped with crunchy sprinkles for that little bit of texture. They’re some of my favorite Italian cookies!
Grab your whole-milk ricotta, and let’s get these cookies baking!
I love all cookie recipes, honestly. Who doesn’t adore filling your home with cozy scents like vanilla and flour while churning out mouth-watering baked goodies? But this ricotta cookies recipe is particularly wonderful:
- Easy, breezy, delicious!
- The perfect combo of creamy + chewy
- Glazed deliciousness
- Telling people there’s cheese in the cookies and watching their faces light up!
If this is your first adventure into Italian cookies: welcome! I’m here to make it as easy as possible on you. If you’re a seasoned cookie pro: you just couldn’t stay away, huh? Me neither! This ricotta cookies recipe calls to me.
Fat is Your Friend: Yes, my ricotta cookies recipe calls for whole milk ricotta and yes, I think you should definitely use just that! The high-fat content in whole milk ricotta brings an unbeatable flavor and texture to this cookie. It’s not going to break the recipe if you use a lower percentage, but it will definitely sacrifice flavor!
No Cheese, Please! Okay, okay, you don’t want to use ricotta cheese at all? Don’t worry, I can work with that! There are plenty of delicious ricotta substitutes — mascarpone cheese is my favorite! It brings a delicious tartness to the cookies.
Dairy-Free and Fabulous: If you want a lighter version of this cookie, one without the troublesome effects dairy can often have on our tummies, you can easily swap the milk for a dairy-free alternative in a one to one ratio. But what about the ricotta cheese? That, too, has a dairy-free substitute — and it’s tofu!
I like to pretend I have leftovers when I bake my ricotta cookies recipe, but . . .
What can I say? They’re just that good!
On the off chance you don’t eat the entire batch, I’ve outlined some storage tips to make sure you get the longest life possible out of your yummy treats!
Can You Freeze This?
Of course! Frozen cookies are one of life’s greatest pleasures. Before you store my ricotta cookies recipe though, make sure the glaze is thoroughly dried — otherwise, you risk your cookies sticking together in the freezer. And while the idea of one giant cookie is good in theory, in reality, not so much.
If you really want to ensure your cookies stay separate, you can always layer wax paper between your treats, then seal them in a Ziploc baggie or airtight container. They’ll last in your freezer for up to eight months! But I guarantee you’ll eat them long before then.
Make Ahead Tips
Like most cookies, my ricotta cookies recipe comes together very quickly once you start, so many of the steps aren’t make-ahead friendly.
But! You can always premake the dough and store it in your freezer or fridge, then pull it out when you’re ready to bake. Make sure you tightly seal your dough — I like to use plastic wrap — and you can safely leave it in your fridge for up to two days while it will last in your freezer for up to three months.
And while I know the temptation of eating raw cookie dough is just too good, but stay away! It isn’t just the raw eggs you have to worry about — it’s the raw flour, too. Unbaked flour can have just as much risk for E. Coli as raw eggs. Definitely not delicious!
How Long Can You Keep This?
Because the glaze on my ricotta cookies recipe contains milk, I do not recommend letting these sit at room temperature for very long. Move to the fridge when you’re not actively eating them — they’ll last there, in a sealed container, for up to a week.
I, personally, think these cookies taste better after they’ve been refrigerated anyway! Something about the glaze solidifying thoroughly is just scrumptious.
It’s impossible to eat just one of my ricotta cookies recipe — and it’s impossible to make just one batch of cookies, too!
Would These Make For Good Christmas Treats?
Of course! No holiday treat platter is complete without Italian Christmas cookies. Italian cookies are the epitome of rich and luxurious flavors. Another of my favorites is Italian fig cookies — like everyone’s favorite popular cookie taken up to Christmas heights!
Can I Add Coconut?
The creamy texture of my ricotta cookies recipe is primed to be turned into macaroons! Toss in some sweetened shredded coconut, and you’ve got yourself a real treat. Be sure to toast up the coconut in the oven a bit first to really get that full depth of flavor.
Want the original? Check out my chocolate dipped coconut macaroons recipe!
Can I Add Lemon?
Lemon and Ricotta are an Italian pairing as iconic as Basil and Pasta! Lemon ricotta cookies will have your eyes rolling back in your head with satisfaction. And oh, my lemon drop cookies are the perfect balance of tart and sweet! You’re welcome in advance.
Can I Add Anise Extract?
Like ricotta, anise is an ingredient that many people often don’t like. But I love it! Anisette cookies round out the holiday season for me. It’s such a homey, cozy flavor that livens up any recipe! Check out my anise cookies recipe too if you’re wanting more of that iconic taste.
What Other Italian Treats Can I Bake?
If my ricotta cookies recipe made you a believer in the wonder of Italian baked goods, I have two favorites you must try next: Italian butter cookies and Italian wedding cookies. The butter cookies are utterly scrumptious, the crumble-with-richness kind of delicious, while the wedding cookies are messy but perfect.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- candy sprinkles, jimmies, colored sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, eggs, ricotta, and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough and then roll to form balls. Arrange on prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Meanwhile, while cookies are baking, whisk together milk, confectioners' sugar, and almond extract until smooth.
- Dip the cookies in glaze while they're still warm. Set on a wire rack and cool completely. Dip the cookies in glaze a second time and decorate with candy sprinkles, jimmies, or colored sugar. Set on a wire rack and let glaze set.
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Ricotta Cookies are so good — why not invite a few of their Italian cookie friends over?
- Amaretti Cookies – Celebrate almonds!
- Pizzelle – Fun to say, even more fun to eat.
- Rainbow Cookies – Beautiful and delicious!
- Almond Biscotti Recipe – Get your favorite coffee brewing!
- Chocolate Biscotti Recipe – Crunch, crunch, cocoa!
Ricotta Cookies bring out the best sides of its namesake underutilized cheese. Creamy! Chewy! Fluffy! I could go on and on, but how about you just make them and give them a try yourself?
What did you love most about ricotta cookies? Let me know in the comments!