Classic Italian foods always seem to make an appearance on our family table at the holidays. For my husband Jack and his big Italian family – of course, that makes sense! But for me – coming from a large Polish family – in between the pierogi and the stuffed cabbage that was always served at our Christmas meals, we also had a few Italian foods at the table thanks to my mother’s sister, Bertha.
Coici Bertha, as we called her (Coici is “aunt” in Polish), was married to my Uncle Pete – an Italian – so the menu at her house was always a wonderful blend of the best of two culinary worlds! She made a terrific lasagna (note to self…I must get her recipe!) but I also remember the cookie tray – an exotic (to me) combination of treats including anisette cookies with colorful sprinkles, pizzelle (some with, and some without powdered sugar) as well as some delicious soft, frosted ricotta cookies!
Among my favorites were the ricotta cookies – and a few weeks ago, Jack and I were sharing fond cookie memories from each of our childhoods! I looked around and found this recipe online, but wanted to adapt it to recreate these Orange Ricotta Cookies we’re sharing today!
Ricotta cookies are often flavored with lemon, but we liked the more distinctive orange flavor in our version. We used whole milk ricotta in our orange ricotta cookies – giving them a soft, cake-like consistency and the fresh orange zest gives the cookies wonderful flavor. The icing also has orange zest as well as orange juice – so there is no mistaking the delicious citrus flavor!
These orange ricotta cookies are really quite easy to make – but a word of caution. As you mix in the flour, just be sure not to over mix the cookie dough to ensure that your ricotta cookies are light and tender!
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