Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ricotta Cookies

This month's What's Baking theme fit perfectly with the holiday season: Christmas Traditions. Like many others, my Christmas Tradition is to bake Christmas cookies. Every year I bake way too many cookies and way too many varieties, but I love cookie time! This year, I dropped a few of the tried-and-true recipes in favor of some new ones. I have eaten many ricotta cookies through the years, but I had never made them myself. So this year, I decided to add them to the list. I loved how tender and light this cookie baked up; almost cake-like. I used almond extract for that hint of cherry flavor and topped them with a simple vanilla glaze. They were delicious! 

Ricotta Cookies
Source: adapted slightly from Rachael Ray

4 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 pound (15–16 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used almond.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
Cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. 
Add sugar and continue beating until well combined.
Add eggs, ricotta, and vanilla (or almond) extract and beat well.
Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until mixed well.
Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets.
Bake 11 to 15 minutes until edges are golden brown. The tops will remain pale.
Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
When completely cooled. top with glaze and sprinkles.

Simple Vanilla Glaze
2 cups powder sugar
3 tablespoons milk (or water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together powdered sugar, milk (or water), and vanilla extract until smooth, adding more milk (or water) or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

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