Easy Italian lemon ricotta cookies recipe made with olive oil (no butter) and whole milk ricotta cheese. Crispy on the bottom and fluffy in the center with a luscious lemon glaze and poppy seeds sprinkle.
I’m super stoked about today’s post you guys, because: Ricotta Cheese! I’m sure that makes sense to no-one but myself but let’s stay focused on what matters most: Ricotta Cookies!
I’m breaking all the food blog rules here and instead of a skinny salad on a Tuesday, i’m delivering the ultimate cookies to my face. I swear it almost feels like Christmas time is around the corner, especially with this gloomy, chilly weather madness. So why not bake some cookies I say…?
Believe it or not, this is the first cookie recipe on Ciao Florentina! We have quite a few ricotta breads, muffins and a 100% ricotta cake. So really, it is kind of embarrassing it took me so long to share this so easy a kid could even do recipe.
Have I ever told you how much I love ricotta cheese ? teeheehee Don’t say!
Ricotta makes my kitchen go around, I’m about to whip up a batch of BatMan’s favorite ricotta meatballs in a bit.
But first things first: Lemon Ricotta Cookies!
I like my cookies loaded with cheese, I need them to live up to their name. So I use an entire pound of creamy whole milk ricotta cheese, a good extra virgin olive oil, a hint of vanilla and lots of lemon.
How can that not be divine ?! Rhetorical question my friends.
Since it isn’t Christmas and I’m not really a fan of food coloring, I left out the sprinkles and finished the cookies with poppy seeds all over the lemon glaze. Okay, just some of them, because there might be people coming over who don’t like poppy seeds but would die for some lemon icing. You see, I think of everyone 😉
Did I tell you that you don’t even need to bring out the mixer? Yup, no mixer, no machinery just a whisk is all you need to whip this up. Two bowls and a little whisking, you’ll have the best Italian cookies on your kitchen counter in no time.
I told you I actually got out of bed on Saturday to make a batch, and yes i ate 3 of them while still warm, crispy around the edges and fluffy as a cloud in the middle, right after I brushed my teeth. Which begs the question:
How Long Do Ricotta Cookies Last?
At our house about 15 minutes, but technically they can be stored on the kitchen counter in an airtight container for a few days. So it depends 😉
Every now and then we all need an occasional indulgence, and what better way to do that than with cookies and extra glaze on top … ? I mean if I was Santa Claus these would be the cookies I’d be asking for. Okay fine, and some of these Italian wedding cookies too 😉
You know what else would make this ricotta cookies recipe extra special ?
- sprinkle the glaze with some coconut flakes
- go for orange icing instead of lemon
- replace the vanilla extract with almond extract and almond slivers
- dress them for Christmas with dried cranberries and pistachio nuts
- add 1/2 c of dark chocolate chips to the batter and sprinkle with powdered sugar
I just had a lightbulb moment with the cranberries because I was thinking of this ricotta cranberry bread I make for Christmas.
So there you have it: if you’ve been looking for easy but timeless authentic Italian cookies, this lemon ricotta cookies recipe will deliver like a Boss every single time!
- 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 1/2 c extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 c cane sugar
- 2 organic eggs
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 c poppy seeds
- 1 large lemon juiced and zested
- 2 c Powder sugar + more as needed
- Preheat your oven to 375"F .
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the egg with the sugar, vanilla extract and olive oil until creamy. Add the ricotta cheese and whisk together until incorporated. Whisk in the juice and zest from 1 lemon then pour all the wet ingredients on top of the flour mixture.
- Using a spatula fold the wet mixture into the dry until combined.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and using two spoons drop the cookie dough by spoonful on the sheet leaving about 1 1/2 inch space in between.
- Bake the ricotta cookies in the preheated oven for about 17 to 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
- Using a small cookie spatula transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Once the ricotta cookies have cooled off completely, make your lemon glaze by whisking together the juice from 1 lemon with the powder sugar. Add more powder sugar if needed, until desired consistency is achieved.
- Using a small spoon add some of the glaze to each ricotta cookie and sprinkle with the reserved lemon zest and poppy seeds.
- Allow to glaze to set for about 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
You can also replace the lemon glaze with an orange glaze if you prefer and sprinkle with orange zest and powdered sugar.
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