In a large mixing bowl, beat the granulated sugar and 1 cup butter with an electric mixer on med. to high speed until combined
Add the eggs and the 2 teaspoons of vanilla;beat until creamy. Add half of the flour, the baking soda and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in the remaining flour and the ricotta cheese.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in the 350 degree oven about 12 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are browned. The cookie tops SHOULD NOT BROWN. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool
To make the frosting: beat together the cream cheese, the 1/2 cup of butter and the 1 teaspoon of vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar; mix well. Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies. If desired, sprinkle with ground mutmeg. Store the frosted cookies, covered, in the refrigerator.
I frost the cooled cookies and freeze them one plate at a time and then put them in plastic bags and put them back in the freezer until ready to use. When you are ready to use, place separately on a plate to thaw.