Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ricotta Cookies

I hate cakey cookies. I like chewy cookies, or sometimes even crunchy cookies. Serious cookies, in other words, and if you want to throw in some chocolate or dried fruit, who am I to stop you? But these cookies are the quintessential "prove the rule by breaking it" cookies. These ricotta cookies are soft and cakey, completely subtle flavorwise, and absolutely addictive. Throw a little citrus-flavored icing on top, and they're an elegant midday cookie. Or any time of day. No judgments.

My friend Katherine used to make them in college - all it took me to get hooked was one night. I started off muttering about the intrinsic superiority of chocolate chip cookies, and that muttering gradually died down in favor of stuffing more and more of these ricotta cookies in my mouth. Lesson learned. And it's not just me - more people have fallen, and fallen hard, for these cookies than almost any other that I make.

Anyway! To the making! Really easy to mix together, this is a quick recipe that makes a ton of cookies. I always buy super fresh ricotta from the East Village Cheese Shop because I'm convinced that the fresher and sweeter the ricotta, the better. The dough is pretty dry - almost the same spongy consistency of lefsa dough, actually. It's not a slick, fully-incorporated dough like you get with sugar cookies, so don't worry if it's a little clumpy. I usually whip up a quick glaze with powdered sugar and a little fresh lime (or lemon) juice. Katherine swears by adding a little butter (and who can blame her?).


*note: this makes a huge amount - more than 40 cookies - so I often half it.

1 C unsalted butter
2 C white sugar
2 large eggs
16 oz. ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 C all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat eggs in, one at a time, and add the vanilla extract. Fold in the ricotta. Combine the dry ingredients, then add to the ricotta mixture. I then roll the dough into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for roughly 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are light golden brown. Let cool on the sheet, then remove and frost.

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