Orange Spice Italian Ricotta Cookies

When it’s time to fill the cookie table at an Italian wedding or the holidays roll around, many will tell you that ricotta cookies are one of the staples.  I put a little Fall twist on this traditional cookie by adding orange spice elements that make it the perfect dunkable treat!

A lightly spiced, thick frosting oozes over the sides of these moist, cakey cookies that are sure to be a new or updated favorite for your family and friends!

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Orange Spice Italian Ricotta Cookies
Orange Spice Italian Ricotta Cookies
    For Cookies:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • About 2 cups (425 grams) sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups ricotta cheese (15 ounces)
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided into 2 1/2 tsp for dough and 1 1/2 for icing
  • 2 large eggs
  • About 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    For icing:
  • About 3 cups (338 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • ¼ cup to 1/2 cup milk, as needed
    Tools needed:
  • Mixing bowl(s)
  • Large spoon or silicone spatula
  • Cookie sheet(s)
  • Parchment paper/silicone baking sheet
  • Small cookie scoop or regular spoon (flatware)
  • Wire cooling rack
  1. Using a mixer, cream 2 sticks butter with sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add ricotta, orange zest and 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and beat well.
  3. Beat in the eggs then mix in flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Cover dough and chill for at least 2 hours and up two days.
  5. Heat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  6. Add dough balls to cookie sheet and space 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake until just golden on the bottom, about 15 minutes.
  8. Let cool on wire racks.
  9. Sift confectioners’ sugar, then whisk in orange juice, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and enough milk to make a spreadable icing.
  10. Spread icing on cooled cookies, then let set for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  1. Sub out lemon zest and juice for more traditional ricotta cookie.
  2. Sub out lime zest and juice for light, unique taste!

Linked up with French Country Cottage, Tater Tots and Jello


Written By

I'm a long time cook/baker that makes food centric recipe videos to help the novice cook or welcome a seasoned cook that wants to focus on the food. I'm passionate about both Christmas and cooking. Once my baking gene gets activated in September, I want to bake all the things. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and come on into my kitchen!

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