Tahoe recipe: Jingle their bells with ricotta cheesecake cookies

Ricotta cheesecake cookies are at their very best when warm from the oven.

Ricotta cheesecake cookies are at their very best when warm from the oven.

Keep calm and bake on. Keep calm and bake on. Keep calm and bake on. That has been my mantra for the past two months. Here I was, just coming off my October “all pumpkins all the time” frenzy and then — boom! Right into more holiday baking.

This column is going to be my last baking hurrah for awhile, so I thought I should really go out with a bang and bust out the ricotta cheesecake cookies.

I ran a similar recipe a few years ago, but I have tweaked it a bit, adding more ricotta cheese and lemon resulting in a cookie that’s more dense and not too sweet, kind of like a mini cheesecake — or my mother-in-law. Kidding Norma! You are porous and cheerful.

Man, you should never tell jokes about your mother-in-law during the gift-giving season, you will be so off the list. That is daughter-in-law 101. Then again, that means I won’t be standing in line at Walmart for three hours to return my present … kidding again Norma. Naughty or nice, these cookies are great holiday treats.

Ricotta cheesecake cookies

I bought the large (35 ounce) tub of ricotta so I could not only beef up the cookies, but I could then use the rest of the cheese for a manicotti recipe I will feature in a few weeks. Just keep it in the back of your fridge until then.

Cookie ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese (This is a little more than half of a large 35 ounce tub.)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

parchment paper

Glaze incredients:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

green and red food coloring (optional)

red, green and/or silver colored sugar sprinkles (not optional this time of year)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until blended. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) two inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

For the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon half of glaze into a separate bowl. For half a batch of green cookies and half a batch of red, add two drops green food coloring to one bowl, one or two drops red food coloring to the other. I went with just white icing and didn’t use the food coloring for this go around.

While cookies are warm, spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Sprinkle with colored sugars and gently press down sprinkles with the palm of your hand. Gently. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. There you go.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at simonegrandmain@gmail.com.


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