Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies
For the best holiday cookies, make my easy Italian lemon ricotta cookies! These traditional cookies are soft and tender and topped with a lemon glaze and colorful sprinkles. Great for Christmas, Easter, and any other holiday or occasion.
Servings 65 cookies
- 2 cups (10 oz) all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 8 tbsp (4 oz) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
- 1 cup (7 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) ricotta, whole or part skim
- 1 large egg
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 1 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups (8 oz) confectioners' sugar
- 3 tbsp colored sugar, optional
Mix the Batter
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with the flat beater, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
With the mixer on medium, add the ricotta, egg, and lemon zest mix until throughly blended.
Pour in the flour mixture and mix on low until just blended, but with some dry flour remaining. Use a large silicone spatula to give the dough a couple of quick turns.
Transfer the dough to the refrigerator and chill for 20-30 minutes.
Bake the Cookies
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spoon the chilled dough out onto cookie sheet using a #100 cookie scoop (or a teaspoon if you don't have a scoop), spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for one minute and then use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Decorate the cookies
Take each cookie and dip it top down into the glaze. Lift it out of the glaze while you twist it a little keeping it facing down to allow excess glaze to drip off. Then flip it up while trying to get the little bit of glaze that is still dripping down to fall onto the top of the cookie.
While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with a little colored sugar.
- Lemon Glaze: If the glaze does not stick to the cookie, the problem is that it is too thick so add more lemon juice or a bit of milk by the teaspoon. If the glaze just runs right off the cookie the problem is that it is too thin so add more confectioners' sugar a tablespoon at a time.
- Larger cookies: To make tablespoon sized cookies, increase the cooking time to 13 minutes and you'll have about 35-40 cookies.
- Cookie Scoop: I use a Zeroll teaspoon (#100) sized scoop for these cookies.
- Resting the Dough: Chilling the dough makes it much easier to work with when portioning it out into cookies. You will have more even and rounder cookies after the rest.
- Make-ahead: The dough can be wrapped up and kept overnight in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Or the unglazed cookies can be frozen and kept for up to 2 months.