Italian Ricotta Cookies

Are you eating cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner?


This time of the year you’re baking cookies to give away (or to keep for yourself) or receiving cookies or both so it’s definitely socially acceptable to consume cookies all day long.  😉  The question is what will we eat when the holidays are over?  Oh right, salads and smoothies.  You know, because my New Year’s resolution will be to lose weight.  Again.  Until then, I’ll happily eat all the cookies I can get my hands on, including these cookies.


These Italian ricotta cookies are one of the best cookies I’ve ever made.  I’ve made A LOT of cookies so that’s saying a lot.  They are like little pillows of cakey lemon heaven.  These cookies remind me of the white part of a black and white cookie, so if you’re a fan of those then you’ll love these.

As a heads up, the cookie dough is VERY sticky.  That’s how it’s supposed to be so I didn’t want you to panic (like I did).  Oh and as another heads up, the cookie dough needs to chill out in the fridge before you bake them.  I’m sure my husband is cringing as he reads that part because he finds that part frustrating and unnecessary.  I agree with the frustrating part at least, but it’s all for a good cause.  🙂


And that icing on top?!  I can’t resist a cookie with icing on top.  Okay, I can’t resist any cookie, but especially if it has some sugary sweetness on top.

The icing is a perfect excuse to dress up the cookies with some sprinkles.  I sprinkled some with holiday sprinkles because I loved the festive feel.  Those will be perfect to give away to friends and family for the holidays.  If they last that long.  As a double reminder, make sure the cookies are completely cool before icing them, and that the icing is completely set before you package them up.  No setting is required to eat them right away, though.  😉


I couldn’t decide which sprinkles to use so I sprinkled some of the cookies with rainbow colored non-perils.  After all, you can enjoy these cookies any time of the year so use whatever color sprinkles your heart desires, or even none at all like my husband prefers.  They are the gift that keeps on giving all year long.  🙂


Italian Ricotta Cookies Recipe
(makes about 4 to 5 dozen cookies)

Note: These cookies require a minimum of 2 hours chilling time.

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour (equivalent to 480 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 container (15 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk (I used whole milk.)


  • non-perils or sprinkles

Directions for the Cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set the dry ingredients aside.
  2. In a very large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the ricotta cheese and vanilla extract.
  4. Add in one egg and mix together, then add the second egg and mix together again.
  5. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until combined.
  6. Chill the cookie dough for a minimum of 2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of dough each.  I use the OXO good grips medium cookie scoop.
  9. Place the dough balls onto a cookie sheet and bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool for about 2 minutes and then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle the glaze on top.  You can dip the tops in, but I liked using a spoon to spread some in the middle of each cookie.
  12. (optional) Sprinkle some non-perils or holiday sprinkles on top of the glaze.

Directions for the Glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and 4 tablespoons of milk.
  2. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more milk at a time and stir.  The goal here is to get a thick glaze.

Slightly adapted from: Cooking Classy



5 Hats


  1. Victoria Cooke says:

    Your photos of these cookies are so amazing. I feel like I can reach right in and grab a cookie. They are so pretty and delicious looking. A cookie I will make for my family. Merry Christmas!

    1. Tina says:

      You made my day! Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!!

  2. Ashley says:

    These look fabulous and I’m looking forward to making them! I have seen several recipes for ricotta cookies and yours chills the dough when others do not. Why chill for 2+ hours? Thanks!

    1. Tina says:

      Hi Ashley. Chilling cookie dough is an ongoing debate with my husband. I think the short answer is that chilling is supposed to help prevent the cookie from spreading when it bakes. However, my husband would say that if the ingredients are correct then one shouldn’t need to chill the cookie dough (which I do agree with). This particular recipe that I followed recommending chilling so I followed those directions.

      I found the link below that is helpful in giving more details on the hows and whys of chilling cookie dough:


    These are fabulous. Once these are frosted and fully set can they be frozen.

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂

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