A lot of the Christmas cookies I’ve baked over the last decade go ‘snap’ with every bite because they’re crispy and crunchy. The almond ricotta cookies are the quirky outliers. They’re less cookie and more cake, with a soft, crumbly texture that tastes divine. Divine.
Having one of these little moist glazed cakes feels like you’re mainlining almonds. The depth of flavor is that beautiful. But the best part is the packaging, thanks to the ricotta. Although it lends only the mildest of tastes, the cookies do gain height, are light, and succulent.
From the old to the young, everyone will love them. For me, they’ve become a permanent accessory to my herbal tea in the morning and a nice light after-dinner dessert.
Ricotta cookies are the most straightforward recipe I’ve used, which is the only kind of recipe you want for the holidays because there’s already too much cooking. It makes a decently sized batch of 24. You can, of course, double it to share with friends and family during the season. Or halve it.
- Mix almond flour, all-purpose flour, and baking powder together.
- Separately, beat butter with powdered sugar till it’s nice and light and fluffy.
- Toss eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract into the beaten mixture.
- Then add the ricotta cheese and combine thoroughly.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and, with a spatula, bring them together into a dough.
- The dough is soft and sticks to your hands, so I recommend refrigerating it for half an hour to one hour till it’s easy to handle.
Keep an eye when baking the ricotta cookies
- Scoop out the dough using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, and then roll it between your palms.
- Place each rolled ball on a Silpat-lined tray, making sure you leave ample space between them.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, till they’re very pale yellow and just firm to the touch.
- These cookies bake fast, so after 12 minutes, keep an eye. Don’t worry if they seem too soft. They’ll harden as they cool.
While the cookies cool, go ahead and make a thick glaze. Yes, this is a completely optional step, but it’s Christmastime. So, why not make them extra special?
- Mix icing sugar with almond milk and almond extract.
- Drizzle the glossy glaze on each cookie.
- Immediately dust sprinkles on top because the glaze sets rather quickly, and after that, the sprinkles won’t stick.
By no means is it essential to decorate the almond ricotta cookies. Once baked and cooled, they’re pretty enough to serve as-is or with scattered sugar.
Absolutely, make them a few weeks in advance. They store well in an air-tight container. I do suggest not glazing them beforehand. Add the icing and sprinkles right before you’re serving, as the color of the sprinkles tends to bleed.
Flour: Over many recipes, I’ve experienced that almond flour imparts the loveliest nutty flavor. It’s equal parts subtle and delicious. But if the lack of it is stopping you from making these recipes, don’t. Use just all-purpose flour.
Eggless: I haven't tried making these without egg, but am sure they can be made eggless with a flax egg. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for at least 15 minutes, till it’s goopy and thick. Continue with the rest of the recipe.
Flavors: In case you don’t have almond extract or don’t fancy it too much, replace it with lemon zest or even orange zest. Incorporate it in the dough to give the cookies a brightness and use it as a garnish.
Ricotta: Homemade (here’s a recipe for it) or store-bought, both versions work like a charm. The only condition is not to skip the ricotta, as it is essential from a structural and textural perspective.
Of all the holiday cookies, you have to try the almond ricotta. They are:
Easy to bake
Attractive holiday gifts
Festive additions to the table
Refreshing with a cup of coffee
Unique cookie recipes for Christmas
Almond Ricotta Cookies
- 1.5 cup All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Almond flour
- 1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt Please omit if using salted butter
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened
- 3/4 cup Powdered sugar
- 1 Egg
- 3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Pure almond extract ( optional)
- 1/3 cup Icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Almond milk You can use any milk you prefer
- 1/4 tsp Almond extract
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a cookie tray with Silpat or parchment paper.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt ( if using) in a bowl.
- In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the egg. Beat well.
- Now add in the ricotta, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until well combined.
- If the dough seems too soft, cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until firm.
- Scoop out the dough, using a tablespoon. Roll the dough balls and place on the tray.
- Bake at 180 C for 12-14 minutes until very light golden in color.
- Transfer to a cooling rack, let the cookies cool completely. Serve as is or glaze the cookies with almond glaze and add sprinkles.
- Allow the glaze to set, about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine almond milk, almond extract, and icing sugar until smooth and thick.