Karen's Ricotta Cookies

This is a traditional ricotta cookie, and my sister Karen makes this recipe during every holiday season. It is a delicious, soft cookie, accented by the confectioners sugar icing and optional sprinkles for holiday decorating.

Cookie Dough:
2 Sticks of Butter, Room Temperature
2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 lb. Ricotta Cheese (Whole Milk)
2 Tsp. Vanilla
4 Cups Flour (sift first, then measure)
1 Tsp. Baking Powder & 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Stick of Butter, 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar (Sifted), 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, cream the butter and add the sugar gradually. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the ricotta cheese and vanilla. Beat for one minute. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture gradually to the other ingredients while stirring. Cover bowl and chill two hours or overnight. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover your hands with flour and use a spoon to form the dough into small balls (about 1 tablespoon). Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are very light brown around the edges. As the cookies are baking prepare the icing. Melt the butter and add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Add food coloring if desired. When the cookies are done baking, place them on racks to cool. When they are fully cooled, use a spatula or knife to add icing to each one. (Important Note: The icing is much easier to spread when it is warm (not hot). When the icing stiffens up and becomes more difficult to spread, put it in the microwave for 10 second intervals and stir.)