This Soft Ricotta Cookie recipe came to me from one of my dad’s coworkers. She got the recipe from a lady from Italy who said it was okay to share the recipe. I’m so glad, because these cookies are really good. Really good, like I ate so many this weekend and my jeans are threatening not to zip. Like I ate the last five cookies for breakfast this morning just so I wouldn’t be tempted anymore! Does anyone else use that logic? And good thing they are so soft, with no noisy crunching required, because yes I did eat five cookies for breakfast in the same room as my boys, without anyone suspecting a thing. Some may call it sneaky, I call it discreet. It’s just one of my many talents, I guess!
I did make one little addition to the recipe, and that is real vanilla bean in the cookies and glaze. You know those petite vanilla scones you can get at Starbucks? I really like those, but depending on the time of day I buy them, they can be a little dry. These cookies taste like I wish those scones did. So I decided to mimick the vanilla bean glaze just like the Starbucks scones.
The vanilla flavor is just right, and I love how the cookies have such a soft, tender texture.
If you’ve never used a real vanilla bean in your baking before, you will need to slice the pod open, and then scrape it with a knife to extract the vanilla caviar. It’s pretty fun, and you can pretend you’re on a cooking show.
David Lebowitz says, Vanilla is the salt of the pastry world, but sometimes it’s nice to let it come out of the background and into the spotlight, so it can have the attention it deserves. And these cookies do just that!Print
Soft Ricotta Cookies With Vanilla Bean Glaze
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 5 dozen 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
These cookies are super soft and full of real vanilla flavor. I ate way more than my quota this weekend!
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Caviar of one vanilla bean pod
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Caviar of one vanilla bean pod
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar and eggs on medium speed.
- Add Ricotta cheese and mix until smooth. Add vanilla extract and vanilla caviar and blend.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour with baking powder and salt.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients on low speed until a dough is formed.
- Drop the dough by level tablespoons onto a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will just be started to get golden around the bottom edges.
- Remove from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath.
- Spoon glaze onto cookies and allow it to fully set before storing.
- Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract and vanilla caviar in a small bowl until smooth.
- Serving Size: 1 Cookie
- Calories: 107
- Sugar: 9.4g
- Sodium: 86mg
- Fat: 3.9g
- Saturated Fat: 2.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.2g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 1.9g
- Cholesterol: 17mg
Keywords: soft ricotta cookies, vanilla bean glaze, ricotta cookies, cookies
Consuelo @ Honey & Figs says
I think I’ve falling in love with these cookies – they look incredibly darling! I like how you used real vanilla seeds to flavor them, they must have turned out really delicious. I would have eaten them all for breakfast as well ;–) x
Haha, glad I’m not the only one! I really hope you get the chance to try these. I think you’ll love them too!
What is the temperature of oven and for how long. You only gave the ingredience!
Angela, when I look at the post there are ingredients and directions so something might not be loading on your end. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Hi !!!! I have no way of getting vanilla bean paste. Can I sub it for vanilla essence ? Maybe add more ?? Thanks
Yes, they will still be delicious with the vanilla essence!
Baked these moist delicious cookies. Cut the sugar in half & added some dried cherries. Also used the zest of an orange to the glaze. Very moist with the Ricotta. You can add chips, cherries or zest an orange or lemon. Easy to make and a family favorite!
For a cookie recipe I can’t rate it high but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious!!! To me they taste like a cookie, biscuit, scone combination. I added some vanilla chocolate chips and cinnamon to mine. I really love this recipe. I guess it’s hard to make it taste like a cookie with using ricotta or maybe I didn’t do it right but regardless thanks for this awesome recipe. I’m calling them Christmas Biscuits for now 😄❤❤❤❤❤
Jennifer F says
Kimberly must have made them wrong/ over cooked them. These are not dry cookies. The whole point of the ricotta is to moisten the cookie. If made correctly, these should be one of the most moist cookies you’ve ever eaten. And the best!!!! ☺️
Do these cookies need to be kept refrigerated to store them once baked or is it ok to keep them in a cookie tin throughout the holidays??
I’ve made thes very often. Keep them in a plastic container with lid. Lasts 5-7 days no problem. ALSO. Can be frozen in gallon sz bags in one layer. Freeze great..I MAKE DBL RECIPE but I use lemon juice and confectionery sugar for glaze and sprinkle top with lemon zest. Also put some zest into batter. It’s scrumptious
Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet. says
These cookies are beautiful! I LOVE ricotta in desserts. Love your blog and photos!
Thank you for your kind words Shiran!
Jen @ Savory Simple says
Vanilla beans! These look amazing.
Brenda Baumgardner says
When you say caviar of one vanilla bean, teaspoon wise, how much is it?
Hi Brenda, it will be about 1/4 teaspoon of caviar from each vanilla bean.
Just made these cookies and they are delicious. Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks for letting me know! So glad you love them too!
Angela Gutierrez says
These cookies look absolutely amazing! I just tried a lemon ricotta cookie for the first time ever and I must say, ricotta cookies are…..HEAVEN!! I want to make these, but am trying to cut sugar out of my diet or at least, most of it. Any idea how I can make these with Stevia or without any sugar at all? perhaps using honey or nectar agave in place of the sugar?
Sorry Angela, I really don’t have any experience cooking with sugar substitutes. Wish I could be more helpful!
Angela, as much as it would be good to cut sugar, I wouldn’t do it with these cookies. Sugar just mixes perfectly with the butter and browns the way it should in the oven. Unfortuately the only thing you can do is taste one and give the rest away…FAST!
I live in a heavily “Italian-American” area and these are incredibly popular. I love the idea of using the vanilla caviar in the recipe.
Maybe I’ll make these tonight (and bring to work so I don’t get any plumper!).
Hello, cookies look great! I would like to make them but I don’t have ricotta. What can I use instead?
Hi Rebecca, thanks for your question. I’m thinking a close substitute for the ricotta would be sour cream. But I haven’t tried it myself, so I can’t guarantee the outcome. Let me know how it goes if you try it yourself!
Could cream cheese be substituted for ricotta?
It may alter the taste but still be moist and subtle?
I love that you had five for breakfast, I would of had 10! They look (and sound) delicious.
I am contemplating making these for a test run prior to the holidays and have a question. You mention that you made one change, using the vanilla bean but you also mention mimicking the Starbucks glaze. My question is, did the original recipe have a glaze and if so, how was it different from what you did? Being Sicilian I just have to ask 🙂
Hi Eliza, thanks for your question. The original recipe had two teaspoons of vanilla extract in the cookie, and the glaze is 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons of milk. The Starbucks scones that I was mimicking have the tiny flecks of vanilla bean in the scone and in the glaze. I hope you enjoy these and love that you are already planning for the holidays!
Thank you so much Julie. Really appreciate the information. I adore your site and was just reading your post regarding the Glazed Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread which also sounds divine! I really want to make that too.
I also like that you take goodies over to your mother (that speaks volumes in my book). My late mother was my biggest fan and the center of my baking/cooking universe and I was always taking over meals and desserts to her. I dearly miss not having her here to sample my baking this year. First Holiday without her however, I keep her picture right where she can see me baking in the kitchen.
All of your recipes look great and now, I’m having a tough time deciding what to make! I already have various cookie doughs in the freezer (which will make 600+ cookies). Have to start early since we hand out numerous goodies to family, friends and I don’t move as fast as I used to 🙂
Eliza, I’m so very sorry that you lost your mother. Baking and memories with loved ones are so closely tied! I love that you keep a picture of her in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m so glad you found my site, and I so appreciate your kind words.
These look good. I plan to make them tonight. Do you spoon the glaze on immediately or wait for the cookies to cool?
Hi Tracy! Let them cool just a bit. These are one of my favorite cookies. Hope you love them too!
Thanks for the quick response about the glaze. The cookies were fantastic. They were easy to make and the cooking time, measurements, etc. were all spot on. I cut the recipe in half and it worked out great. This recipe is a keeper.
I’m so glad! Thanks for letting me know!
This recipe is baller! Looking to do somethin like this for a cookie competition coming up in December…
This cookie is very “Golden Girls” and i’ll be looking to add choc chips/chunks and a little DiSarrono to it
No one tells how to store Ricotta cookies some what is the best way to store them ?
I kept them sealed in a plastic container with wax paper in between the layers, but the glaze does get a little sticky after a while.
Do these cookies need to be refrigerated?
No, they are fine at room temp. Thanks Pam!
how long do they last stored? im making them today for Christmas day
Sorry just getting to your question. I think they are fine to be made 2-3 days in advance. You could also freeze the cookies, and then glaze them the day before. Enjoy Maria!
Hello..I was wondering if I can make these ahead of time and wait on glazing them until ready to use? Thanks so much for your time!
Yes you can, Joyce. Just make sure they are in an airtight container so they won’t dry out. Enjoy!
Mixed all the wet ingredients. Discovered i only have than half the all purpose flour to continue. Questions….may i use bread flour for the balance…..OR .may i store the wet mix overnight in fridgand continue tomorrow?? (MAKING ITALIAN RICOTTA COOKIES)
Hello Elda, I’m afraid the bread flour which has more gluten, may make the cookies a little tough. Although I haven’t tried it, I think I would take my chances and refrigerate the wet ingredients until you have the rest of the all purpose flour. Hope they turn out for you!
MAY I USE BREAD FLOUR IN RECIPE FOR RICOTTA COOKIES.? IF NO, MAY I STORE WET MIXTURE IN FRIDG TILL TOMORROW..??
These cookies look so yummy. I am planning on making them for holiday work party and wondered if you have any alternative ideas for the vanilla bean in the icing and cookies. I don’t want to use lemon either. Can I do it without the vanilla beans since I don’t have easy access to that? I am a little late in the game. 🙂
Enid, if you leave out the vanilla bean in the cookies and icing, they will still be just fine with the vanilla extract that is called for. You could also add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to the cookies and icing if you like that flavor. Maybe decorate with a few sliced almonds?
My mom is Italian American and we always had them with the almond in the cookie and vanilla in the icing. They are my favorite, husband is the baker in our house and makes me a batch for my birthday 😁
Enid, you could consider orange zest if you don’t want to use lemon, but want an alternative flavor.
Some of the Italian bakeries use anise flavor.
Season with Love!
OMG, THEY LOOK LIKE THE BEST, I’LL BE TRYING TO MAKE THEM THIS WEEK, CAN’T WAIT
lisa g. says
These are in my dreams and soon in my tummy! Yumm! Thx U.
My mom just made a batch and shared with me, and I so love them. Hope you do too!
Used this recipe but didn’t have vanilla bean. Flavored half of them with fresh lemon and the other half with anise. They were enjoyed by all.
Love the flavors you added Kathy. Glad they were a hit!
wow your photos looked so beautiful that i made some of these amazingly soft cookies. had to alter the recipe a little bit since i didn’t have the exact amounts in my kitchen. but it still turned out incredible 🙂
thanks for sharing
I’m so glad! Thank you for your kind words.