These soft Italian-style cookies are a hit with everyone. The ricotta keeps them moist, and the recipe yields a large batch, which is great since the baked cookies freeze so well. Do not freeze the unbaked dough. You can decorate them with chopped candied cherries, colored sugar or candy sprinkles.

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Ingredients

36
Original recipe yields 36 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

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  • In a large bow, with the mixer a low speed, beat the sugar and butter until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Reduce speed to medium and beat in the ricotta, vanilla and eggs.

  • Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat until dough forms.

  • Drop dough by level tablespoons, about 2 inches apart; onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden (cookies will be soft). With spatula, remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

  • When cookies are cool, prepare icing. In small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. With small spreader, spread icing on cookies; place a candied cherry piece on top of each cookie or sprinkle with colored sugar or candy sprinkles.

Nutrition Facts

180.2 calories; 3.2 g protein; 27.6 g carbohydrates; 27.7 mg cholesterol; 201.7 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (157)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/28/2003
A great recipe, but even better with some additions. I followed the other reviewers' advice, and used lemon extract instead of the vanilla. Then, I tinted the icing with yellow food coloring, and I also added vanilla and lemon extract (1/4 tsp each) to it. I drizzled the icing over the tops of the cookies and then sprinkled confectioner's sugar on top of the icing to pretty them up a bit. The result was a tasty cookie that was easy on the eye, and even more pleasing to the tummy! Will definitely try these again! Read More
(111)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/28/2003
I wasn't too thrilled with these cookies. They baked well and tasted good but needed something extra... Read More
(13)
182 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 124
  • 4 star values: 40
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
08/28/2003
A great recipe, but even better with some additions. I followed the other reviewers' advice, and used lemon extract instead of the vanilla. Then, I tinted the icing with yellow food coloring, and I also added vanilla and lemon extract (1/4 tsp each) to it. I drizzled the icing over the tops of the cookies and then sprinkled confectioner's sugar on top of the icing to pretty them up a bit. The result was a tasty cookie that was easy on the eye, and even more pleasing to the tummy! Will definitely try these again! Read More
(111)
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2007
A variation of this recipe recently won top prize at a cookie exchange I attended. Fantastic cookies. The variation I have uses cream cheese frosting - 4 oz cream cheese, 1 Tbl butter, 2 C 10X sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. It really adds to the wonderful flavor. Read More
(98)
Rating: 5 stars
09/27/2003
I made these cookies for Easter with a few changes and they were fabulous! I added a tablespoon of grated lemon peel to the dough and used half lemon juice instead of milk for the icing. I tinted the icing yellow with food coloring and topped with pastel colored sprinkes. They were delicious and beautiful!!! Read More
(83)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/24/2010
These cookies are great...wonderfully light and airy! I played around with some extracts, doing one dozen with lemon extract (topping with a lemon glaze and grated lemon zest), one dozen with maple extract (topping with a maple flavored cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts), and another dozen with coconut extract (topping with a coconut infused vanilla frosting and fresh shredded coconut). They were all wonderful, but the coconut was my favorite! The flavor of these by themselves leaves so much possibility as far as flavorings go, which makes them perfect for me, even though others have mentioned thinking they "lacked something". A little imagination can turn a good cookie into a GREAT cookie and I think these have the potential for that! Thanks for the wonderful recipe! :) Read More
(49)
Rating: 4 stars
02/10/2004
These cookies were good and very easy. I made them a little less bland by making a simple glaze with almond extract milk and confectioners sugar. They freeze well. Read More
(36)
Rating: 4 stars
12/13/2006
These are cake-like cookies not your standard cookie texture and density so don't expect the same consistency as a chocolate chip cookie. Also the batter was very thick and my 100 watt hand mixer did not have enough power to handle the dough. I tried to make these a little lower in fat so I reduce the amount of butter. That was a mistake. The cookies were too crumbly -- the butter is needed for moistness. These cookies have a mild flavor and do not taste very sweet without the icing. I mixed 3 T. of fresh orange juice with 3 c. of powdered sugar to make the icing. The citrus of the OJ was a nice complement to the cookie. I think almond or maple extract would also be good in the icing. After I get a new and better mixer I'm going to try these again. Read More
(27)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/22/2010
Good. Just a very plain soft and cakey vanilla cookie. I followed recipe exactly but didn't make the icing. The cookies are plenty sweet without it. They do not spread at all so can be put close together on cookie sheet. Mine only needed 12 minutes in the oven. Read More
(24)
Rating: 3 stars
08/28/2003
I wasn't too thrilled with these cookies. They baked well and tasted good but needed something extra... Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2006
I made these for a Christmas party and 6 people asked for the recipe. I will definitely make these again! Read More
(12)