Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Italian Ricotta Cookies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I couldn't let that luscious, creamy peanut butter cream cheese frosting go to waste. I am many many things, but wasteful is not one of them. But what to put it on?

I sought out my trusty side kick, the ever-impressive, often-imitated, but never duplicated, Originally I was hoping to use up some milk on it's last days, so I searched by ingredients: flour, sugar, milk. When I came across this one, I had to click on it and read more.

It looked good, sure. Plenty of pictures of sugar-cookie-like creatures, smothered in icing. But ricotta cheese? Seriously? Well, hell. I had half of a tub of fat-free ricotta that was about to go bad, too, so why not?

I halfed the original recipe, which left me to scrounge up the following:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick margarine, softened
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Directions were as follows:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bow, with the mixer a low speed, beat the sugar and butter until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Reduce speed to medium and beat in the ricotta, vanilla and eggs.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat until dough forms.
  4. Drop dough by level tablespoons, about 2 inches apart; onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden (cookies will be soft). With spatula, remove cookies to wire rack to cool.
The dough was very wet and sticky. I scooped out heaping tablespoons with a real spoon, and got 24 cookies, baked for 19 minutes each batch.

As for my leftover frosting, I mixed in another cup of powdered sugar to stiffen it, and schmeared it on the cooled cookies, which I let sit for 2 hours. This gave the peanut butter cream cheese icing enough time to harden before packing them up and putting them in the fridge.

The cookies turned out very soft. They practically melt in your mouth, like a good shortbread would. The icing was light and subtle, making for a not-too-sweet treat perfect with tea.

The flavor was mild, which was the design, but I found it rather bland. It's definitely an "icing" cookie. If I make these again I will add lemon or almond extract to the dough (vanilla would work also) and use a simple icing (think glazed donuts). But these were a hit with my daughter's friends at lunch, and they helped me use up things I might otherwise have thrown away. Essentially, two dozen cookies for the price of the electricity to heat the oven. Not bad at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment