April 02, 2015
How many people remember Castellano & Pizzo’s on Henderson Boulevard? Carol who baked from her home was the one who supplied all their luscious baked goods. And boy-o-boy, they were homemade and sensational. I especially loved her pillowy-soft-cake-like ricotta cookies. They were $2 each 10 years ago – and I paid it happily.
Every bite is like biting into a soft cake – I’ve heard the texture described like the black & white cookie – but I think it is better than that by far. When you bake them, please call me so I can come taste them. Happy Easter.
Makes between 5 and 6 dozen cookies
- 2 sticks room temperature salted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 15 ounces (1 small container) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- ¼ to ½ cup whole milk
- Vanilla bean from 1 vanilla bean pod
- Colored sanding sugar (I like purple and green together) – can find at Williams Sonoma
OPTION FOR ICING
- 1 teaspoon vanilla instead of vanilla bean
- Lemon zest of one lemon
- Various liquid food colors to achieve desired colors – split white icing into many small bowls and add a drop at a time until your color is reached
Preheat oven to 350 degrees – line baking sheets with parchment paper
Cream butter and sugar until light and airy, add eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy. Add ricotta cheese, vanilla, and beat until well blended. Add salt, flour (1 cup at a time), and baking soda and mix on low speed until combined.
Place cooking on parchment lined baking sheet 2” apart. You can use a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Try one batch and adjust time to secure a pillowy cake-like texture.
Take cookies off the pan and place onto a wire rack for cooling. Ice when cooled.
Add confectioners’ sugar, ¼ cup milk, and vanilla and whisk until a medium thick icing appears – add more milk a tablespoon at a time if needed.
Add food coloring or flavored extracts and zest.
Generously spread on cooled cookie – sprinkle with colored sanding sugar.