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!


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!

photo 1-10

Homemade Ricotta
From Gourmet, April 2006


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


  • 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.


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


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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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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