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~ Let it Snow-Capped Ricotta and Coconut Cookies ~

IMG_6708Attend an Italian birthday or graduation party, bridal or baby shower, wedding or christening, etc. Name an occasion -- if it is being hosted in or by an Italian-American family, ricotta cookies will be on the dessert table, especially during the holidays.  If ricotta cookies aren't served, you showed up at the wrong address.  Every family has a favorite recipe, and, while no two recipes are exactly alike, aside from the choice of flavoring, color of the glaze and the decorative sugar crystals or jimmies that get sprinkled on top, all recipes for these beloved cookies are remarkably similar.

6a0120a8551282970b0154383f535b970cI am a big fan of this type of soft cakey-textured and glazed cookie. My recipes for banana-walnut-, pumpkin-spice-, eggnog-, and, all-purpose celebration- cookies, are prime examples.  In the case of the ricotta cookie, there are no rules regarding the flavoring or flavoring combination used.  Lemon or orange in conjunction with a splash of vanilla are the most common followed by almond or anise, but use whatever puts a smile on your face.

Every recipe for ricotta cookies is an easy one.  It is worth noting, however, that no matter what kind of cookie pans/sheets you use, I recommend lining them with parchment paper, to keep the bottoms of the cookies from over-browning, as these are pale, barely-browned cookies.  Also, if you're using dark colored sheets/pans, be sure to lower the oven temperature from 350º to 325º, because dark sheets/pans conduct heat differently than light-colored pans.  Carry on. 

When ya gotta ricotta -- make ricotta cookies!

IMG_6617For the wet ingredients:

1  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

2  large eggs

2  teaspoons pure coconut extract

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2  cups sugar

16  ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (2  cups)

1  generous cup sweetened, flaked coconut  

For the dry ingredients:

4  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon baking powder

1  teaspoon sea salt

IMG_6665For the glaze and sprinkles:

2  cups confectioners' sugar

3-4  tablespoons milk

2  teaspoons coconut extract

2  teaspoons vanilla extract

4-6  tablespoons coarsely-ground sparkling white sugar crystals,


4-6  tablespoons white jimmies, one, the other, or both 

IMG_6622 IMG_6622 IMG_6622 IMG_6622 IMG_6622 IMG_6622 IMG_6622 IMG_6622~Step 1.  To mix wet ingredients, in a large  bowl, over medium- medium-high speed of hand-held mixer, cream the butter, eggs and extracts for one full minute, then, add the sugar and mix for another full minute.  Lower mixer speed and fold in the ricotta, followed by the coconut, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a large rubber spatula during this entire process.

IMG_6620 IMG_6620 IMG_6620~Step 2.  To mix in the dry ingredients, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. On medium-low mixer speed, working your way up to medium, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by adding the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture in two-three increments.  When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, a thick, manageable cookie dough will have formed.

IMG_6644 IMG_6644 IMG_6644 IMG_6644 IMG_6644 IMG_6644~Step 3.  Line 4, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans with parchment and ready a 1 3/4" ice-cream scoop.  Using the scoop as a measure, gently drop level balls of dough, well-apart, onto each prepared pan, 15 per pan.  Bake cookies, one-pan-at-a-time, on center rack of 350º oven, 9-10 minutes.  Cookies should be puffed through to their centers, pale-colored and just showing signs of starting to brown.  Remove from oven and cool in pan about 1 minute prior to transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

IMG_6667 IMG_6667 IMG_6667 IMG_6667 IMG_6667 IMG_6667~Step 4.  To prepare the glaze, place the powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Add and stir in the coconut and vanilla extracts.  One tablespoon at a time, add and stir in the milk, until a smooth drizzly consistency is reached.

IMG_6679 IMG_6679 IMG_6679~Step 5.  To glaze and top the cookies, one-at-a-time dip the top (just the top not the sides) in the glaze, lift it out and allow all excess glaze to drizzle back into bowl.  After glazing a dozen cookies, sprinkle the glazed tops with sugar and/or jimmies -- it's important to sprinkle while the glaze is still wet.  Allow cookies to sit on countertop, uncovered, until glaze has hardened, several hours (4-6 hours) or overnight.

Allow glaze to harden several hours or overnight:

IMG_6699Note:  Store cookies in an airtight container, separating the layers with wax paper for up to two weeks.  Once glaze hardens, the tops will stay firm and pretty as long as they are stored.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year: 

IMG_6717Let it Snow-Capped Ricotta and Coconut Cookies:  Recipe yields 4 1/2 dozen 2 1/2"-round cookies.

Special Equipment List:  hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 4, 17 1/2 x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment paper; 1 3/4" ice-cream/cookie scoop; thin spatula; wire cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b01bb08a30027970dCook's Note: There are two kinds of people.  Those who finished their holiday and those who haven't started.  If your holiday is under control, the force is with you and you need no help from me.  If, however, you fall into the category of "just got home from doing gift and grocery shopping" and find yourself in the kitchen in need of a last-minute cookie recipe, preheat your oven to 325º now, take a deep breath and relax.  ~ My Six-Ingredient Last-Minute Shortbread ~ is for you.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


Joan -- I wish I could help you figure that out. I'm not familiar with Pinterest. That said, thanks for trying -- I am flattered! ~ Melanie

I am not able to view the description of the recipe after I pinned it, only the pictures appear.

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