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I don’t know about you, but while I have been stuck at home, I have been spending much more time surfing social media. One of my fellow coworkers posted a picture of Ricotta Cookies that she baked and I realized that I had a container of ricotta cheese that I had bought to make lasagna, but never did. So in keeping with my desire not to waste any food, I searched my recipe books and binders to see if I had one and I did.
After I had seen my coworker’s cookies, I quickly looked up recipes online to see how much ricotta cheese I would need and noticed that many of the comments indicated that the cookie, while very moist, was bland. I had some lemons, but chose to use the blood oranges that I had instead to amp up the flavor of this cookie.
What is a blood orange? It is a type of orange that contains anthocyanins, according to Wikipedia. When you first buy the orange, it looks somewhat like a large mandarin orange. As it ages, both the flesh and rind of the orange develop a crimson color, as well as a raspberry-like flavor. I never knew about blood oranges until I first saw them in the opening credits of Dexter.
I have found that while the juice of the blood orange is sweet and delicious, that if you segment it and eat it as you would a regular orange, the connective tissue is a little tougher and makes the orange seem dry. I used both the zest of the orange as well as the juice in the cookie. I also used the juice of the blood orange in the glaze, which gives it a nice pink hue for Spring. You can add nonpariels for added color or just serve them glazed.
Blood Orange Ricotta Cookies
- 2-1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter or plant butter
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 3 tbl blood orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbl blood orange zest
- 1-1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 1 tbl cointreau
- Make sure you measure the flour both before and after you sift, then whisk your dry ingredients together. Bring your butter and eggs to room temperature.
- Cream butter and with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the ricotta cheese, vanilla, and blood orange zest and juice to the butter mixture until well combined.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until blended. Chill dough for about an hour to make it easier to portion.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line your cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Measure out approximately 2 teaspoons worth of dough onto the cookie sheet. If you have a double-sided melon baller, the small side is approx. 2 teaspoons and the large side is approx. 1-1/2 tablespoons.
- Bake for approximately 13 minutes, until the cookie is just turning brown on the bottom.
- Cool cookies completely, while you prepare the glaze.
- Start with one cup of the powdered sugar and add the blood orange juice and cointreau to it. Whisk together. Add in the additional powdered sugar until the glaze is smooth. If the glaze is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
- You can either spoon the glaze over the cookies or dip them in the glaze. Before the glaze dries, you can add the nonpariels or sprinkles of your choice.
- You can substitute lemon or lime or any other citrus for the orange.
- If you don’t have ricotta cheese, you can try substituting cream cheese, cottage cheese or marscapone. If you use cream cheese, you will want to decrease the amount of salt, because it contains more than ricotta. If you opt for cottage cheese, I would suggest blending it to decrease the size of the curd.