The New York Times’ Italian Ricotta Cookies are a favorite in my household. Light and fluffy, the cookies are more cupcake top than cookie. The cookies themselves have a touch of lemon zest, but fresh lemon juice in the icing brings a fresh brightness while taming the sweetness. The kids enjoyed a lemon-free version, but it lost some of the character of the original. Replacing the icing with a chocolate ganache, however, worked remarkably well (even if I left out the lemon zest from the cookie). The result was reminiscent of a birthday cake.
A chocolate version was only natural. I replaced 1/6th of the flour from the original recipe with Dutch processed cocoa powder (Cocoa Barry Extra Brute) and created a simple icing from powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cream (about 50 g, 3 g, and 20 g respectively).Once the cookies had cooled, I dipped the flat part of the cookie in the icing and let it dry.
I also made a batch of the frosting in which I added 1/8 tsp of peppermint extract and some green food coloring. Both were a hit with the kids.
Chocolate Ricotta Cookies
A soft, cake-like chocolate cookie.
These soft cake-like cookies are reminiscent of a cupcake, but a bit firmer. Try either of the icings here, a chocolate ganache, or even eat them plain. I prefer Cocoa Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder, but any will do.
- 112 g (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 212 g sugar
- 210 g ricotta cheese
- 10 g vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 200 g all purpose flour
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 5 g baking soda
- 2 g salt
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 40 g heavy cream
- 5 g vanilla extract
- optional: add 1/8 tsp peppermint extract for mint icing
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down with a rubber spatula needed.
- Combine the ricotta, vanilla, and egg and add to the bowl. Beat until well combined and homogenous, scraping down once or twice to ensure an even mixture.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk to break up clumps and ensure an even mixture.
- Add flour mixture to batter and mix until combined. Fold a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure an even mixture
- Transfer the mixture to the fridge (covered) for a few hours to several days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Scoop dough into small cookies (I use a #40 scoop) and place mounds evenly spaced on a baking sheet with parchment. I get 3 rows of 4 with a #40 scoop.
- With wet hands, roll each mound into a smooth ball and return to cookie sheet.
- Bake until the dough has no visible moisture, about 14 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
- When completely cool, dip the cookies in the glaze. You may need additional glaze to dip all cookies. You can use more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze, or more cream for a thinner glaze.
- Let glaze dry for a few hours for the least mess when eating.