First on the First: Homemade Ricotta (Cookies)

When this dessert blogger got word that the First on the First challenge for November was homemade cheese, three cheeses came to mind: cream cheese, mascarpone, and ricotta. All are critical and delicious components of any baker’s repertoire, but one of them also happens to be remarkably easy to make — ricotta!

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The ricotta recipe that follows requires only 4 ingredients. And the best part? It makes the perfect amount to bake ricotta cookies (recipe also below) and have a bit leftover to snack on while they’re baking!

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Homemade Ricotta
From Gourmet, April 2006

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  • Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh)  cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
  • Slowly bring milk, cream,  and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring  occasionally to prevent scorching.
  • Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and  simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into the  lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the  ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.

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Ricotta Cookies
Click Here to Print This Recipe. 
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups  flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested

For the Glaze (if desired):

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and  sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated.
  • Add ricotta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat to combine.
  • Stir in dry ingredients.

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  • Drop 2 tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, combine the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl; stir until smooth.
  • Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie, use the back of the spoon to gently spread, and garnish with sprinkles, if desired.

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See how other sweet and savory bloggers responded to the cheese challenge!

15 responses

  1. I LOVE ricotta cheese! It’s so simple to make, I hope you help inspire more people to make it at home- and these cookies look so good! A perfect way to use such a yummy cheese :)

  2. These look amazing! I love that the ricotta recipe is the exact amount needed for the cookies as well. Having made ricotta in the past, I agree that it’s an easy recipe for something so delicious and definitely worth making for these treats.

  3. After reading this post, I just couldn’t resist. First, I decided to try my hand again at making the fresh ricotta, which was both easy to prepare and tasted delicious. Then I baked a batch of the homemade ricotta cookies with it. They are fantastic and exactly as you described: light, chewy, and flavorful!! Suffice it to say, you can’t eat just one. :-)

  4. I love ricotta cheese!! It’s a staple on my food list. I didn’t realize it was so easy to make. I’ll have to try the homemade recipe, and definitely the cookie recipe. They look absolutely delicious!

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