Cloud-Soft Ricotta Cookies


I ran across a recipe for Ricotta Cookies in an old Woman’s Day magazine, and immediately thought, “must bake!” as I love the delicate, creamy flavor of ricotta. As I researched the recipe, though, I found many versions, all varying slightly from one another. I settled on a recipe from “One Sweet Cookie,” by Tracey Zabar, as its use of cake flour signaled a tender cookie. (If you are a cookie lover, this book is for you, as it’s a compendium of recipes from “celebrated chefs,” and it has lots of tips and tricks from the pros for making great cookies. It’s available on Amazon for a few dollars.)

As it turns out, this cookie is as soft as a cloud, with a tender, moist crumb, and just a hint of creamy ricotta flavor. The glaze is tart with fresh lemon juice, and, sprinkled with some crunchy Swedish pearl sugar, Ricotta Cookies are perfect for the holidays. Here is the recipe.

Cloud-Soft Ricotta Cookies

3 cups cake flour
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
one 15-ounce container ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter with the sugar, then add the eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together the ricotta and the vanilla. Alternate adding the ricotta mixture and the flour mixture into the butter mixture. This will make a moist but rather firm dough, and you may want to finish mixing the mixture with your impeccably clean hands.

Using a small cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until bottom is golden brown. The tops will be puffed but not browned. Frost with the glaze, and sprinkle with pearl sugar or sprinkles of your choice. Makes about 65 cookies.

For frosting: Mix three cups of powdered sugar with the juice of one lemon and about 5 to 6 tablespoons milk or cream. Stir until smooth. Depending on how much milk you use, this can either be a thin glaze, or a thick frosting.

As long as I have my cup of coffee and my glasses, I’m ready to bake!
When done, the bottom of the cookie will be golden brown, and the top will be uncolored.
When done, the bottom of the cookie will be golden brown, and the top will be uncolored.

img_6966 img_6967img_6970Baking notes: I do recommend mixing the dough with your hands at the end of the mixing process, because what with the flour and the ricotta, it may seem like it won’t go together. As you mix, scoop up from the bottom where flour may lurk–the dough will seem firm but moist.

Victorian Tinsel


img_6977At a resale shop the other day, I found a container of “Victorian Christmas Tree Tinsel.” I was thrilled to find it filled with actual tin tinsel, such as they used way back in the old days. I went online and found that it still can be purchased–just Google ” Victorian Tin Tinsel,” and a number of sources will appear. This tinsel is solid tin, and will not bend or drape, but has a wonderful old-fashioned feel to it.


Bird life goes on in the forsythia bushes out behind our backyard. The bushes were alive with twittering the other day, and I took pictures of a sweet little dumpling of a female sparrow, and a distinguished male bird.

img_6943 img_6945 img_6947 img_6948 img_6949

I was reading an op-ed piece by Timothy Egan, in the New York Times, called “Fake Cowboys and Real Indians,” about the native Americans and their fight against the pipeline. The piece closed with a quote from a young Native leader named Lyla June Johnston, regarding the conflict. It has given me a lot to think about.

 “In the face of this we pray,” Johnston told Egan a day after the blizzards blew in. “In the face of this we love. In the face of this we forgive. Because the vast majority of water protectors know this is the great battle of all: to keep our hearts intact.”

I thank her for her wisdom. Peace to you. Fran


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