My mother always made these on holidays and would wrap them in festive cellophane paper and tie them with ribbons adding Hershey Kisses between spaces on the plate! My husband Anthony, who has now passed away, loved to give these delicious cookies to all our friends and neighbors and I have kept the tradition going.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
These are very similar to a tea cake but a whole lot easier to make! These icing on these fluffy and cake-like cookies is not overly sweet. These are a great addition to your holiday cookie tray. This recipe makes a lot of cookies - you could package them for fun gifts!
Cream butter and sugar. Mix until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add ricotta cheese and extract. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda and baking power gradually. After well incorporated I find that if you refrigerate the dough about 30 minutes, covered so as not to dry out, the dough is then easier to handle. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls or roll into small balls onto an ungreased parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
For the icing: 1 and 1/2 cups (one and one half cups) of confectioner's sugar, 3-4 tablespoons of milk, teaspoon of vanilla or other extract (you could also add food coloring if you wanted colored icing). I also add about a tablespoon of meringue powder to the icing although my mother never did. I find it helps dry the icing quicker. Ice cookies and top with colored sprinkles.