Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies

Friday, May 15, 2015

People will love you forever if you make them these orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies!

orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies

Between all the list making and preparation for our Amsterdam trip, all the cat-sitter coffee dates and day dreaming, these adorable peach cookies are what has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Because it’s almost summer and I can’t wait for actual peaches to start rolling in and because a good cookie is a good cookie, something I will never have a problem with.

Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!

Remember these pretty mushroom cookies from last year? Well, these peach cookies are the distant cousins of those. I already knew at the time I’d be making them soon enough, but the season wasn’t right. And now I don’t have to wait anymore. Now, I can finally tell you all about these bites of heaven.

Originally, peach cookies are made the same way as the mushroom cookies, their shape being the only difference. And since I love the mushroom ones so much, I never thought I would actually change the recipe. But I have. And why oh why did I wait this long?!

Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!

You see, the mushroom cookies are perfect for the winter months. They’re chocolaty and crunchy, the walnuts and the mushroom shape make them super festive and they fit right into the scenery outside – with leaves falling down, fog rolling in and temperatures getting colder and colder during fall and winter.

And when I think about all of that I can’t possibly associate it with the warmer seasons and peaches. The mushroom cookies are a complete opposite of that, so all of a sudden making walnut peach cookies made no sense to me anymore.

Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!

Lucky for me, these peach cookies aren’t a Slovenian specialty. When flipping through Southern Italian Desserts, I  found their version of peach cookies. Forget about the nuts, the chocolate, the jam, theirs are filled with ricotta. RICOTTA! That was just the biggest revelation for me. Why not do that?  The thought alone made my mouth water.

Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!

These sweet orange ricotta peach cookies are simply divine, I mean it. They’re soft, with just enough bite and crunch, they are moist, aromatic and so very adorable. The orange infused ricotta captures the essence of the warmer season. It makes me think of breezy mornings, picnics in the park, the endless turquoise sea, bushy green trees and birds chirping in the air, it makes me think of ice-cold drinks in the sunset. It is the perfect filling for these peach cookies and makes them a much lighter and fresher version of its winter sister – the mushroom cookie.

I will be bringing these to all BBQ/picnic gatherings in the following months, and you should too.

Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the perfect little dessert, for every spring or summer wedding, party, gathering. Look like real peaches, taste like heaven!

Sweet ricotta peach cookies
 
These orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies really capture the essence of spring and summer.
Recipe makes 22-24 peach cookies, each the size of an average apricot.
Author:
Ingredients
Ricotta filling
  • 500g (2 cups + 2 TBSPs) ricotta cheese
  • 110g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • zest of 1 medium orange
Cookies
  • 540g (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 155g (1/2 cup + 3 TBSPs) granulated sugar
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 115g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • zest of 1 lemon
The rest
  • granulated sugar for coating the cookies
  • liquid food coloring in red or pink
  • rum (optional)
  • mint leaves or other leaf decorations (optional)
Directions
Ricotta filling
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta with sugar until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add orange zest and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
  3. Chill the mixture, covered with plastic wrap, while you make the cookies.
Cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350°F) with rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, melted butter and lemon zest until smooth.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into wet in 2-3 additions, until well incorporated.
  5. Finish mixing the dough with your hands and press it into a ball. If it's very sticky add another tablespoon or two of flour until it sticks together. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. With the help of a spoon, roll the dough into 44-48 small balls (shape them with your hands until smooth) and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets.
  7. They need to be placed about 2.5cm (1 inch) apart, as they will rise during baking.
  8. Press down each ball slightly, so it flattens a bit.
  9. Bake the first round for about 15 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown (the tops will remain pale). Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
  10. As you take the first tray of cookies out, put the second one in the oven.
  11. While the cookies are still warm, cut a circle in the bottom of each cookie and scoop out enough of a cookie for it to hold some filling. (Be careful, don't pierce the cookie too deep or you risk breaking it.) Set aside.
  12. Do the same with the second tray.
  13. Find a pair for each cookie, you want the halves of the peach to be of similar size.
Assemble
  1. Fill each cookie hole with enough ricotta filling that it covers it (about a teaspoon). Press the two flat sides of each half together and gently wipe away any filling that comes out at the edge.
  2. Brush each peach with food coloring, gently roll it in sugar and place on a large plate.
  3. Continue with the rest of the cookies.
  4. Chill cookies, covered with plastic wrap, for a few hours before serving. This will harden the ricotta and moisten the cookies.
  5. Decorate the cookies with small mint leaves before serving, to mimic peach leaves.
  6. These cookies keep for about 4 days and taste best on the first two days. Leave them out at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
Notes
ON FOOD COLORING

Dilute the food coloring with water according to the instructions on the package, if it needs diluting at all.

I've experimented with natural food dyes but none gave these peaches enough color. My goal was to make "white peaches" which are pinkish and white, while regular peaches are more red and yellow in color. The one thing I haven't tried yet is beet powder. Its vibrant pink color could do the trick, so you can always try this too instead of using artificial coloring (and I promise to update you all on this as soon as I try this version myself).

You can also skip the coloring completely and moisten the cookies with some sweetened water instead. But since I make these rarely, I don't see that much harm in artificial food dye. The one I use is strawberry flavored which adds a whole new dimension to these cookies.

You can add a teaspoon (or more) of rum to the food coloring, which will add extra flavor to these cookies.

TIP FOR MELTING BUTTER

The fastest trick for me is this: I put the butter in a 500ml (1 pint) Pyrex measuring jug and melt it in the microwave. Once melted, I cool it by placing the jug in a sink filled with ice cold water. I stir the butter occasionally to speed the process up even more.

[update] KEEPING THE SHAPE
As you fill these cookies, make sure you put in enough filling - it needs to reach the edge of the hole you made into the cookie. Once you press the two halves together, some of the filling will come out. This is good as it is the glue that keeps the two cookies together and you just need to wipe away any filling that sticks out of the "peach". Also know that while you are filling and coloring the cookies, the ricotta filling will get warm and consequently softer. This is why you need to chill these cookies before you serve them. The ricotta needs time to set.


This recipe is adapted from a family recipe and from Southern Italian Desserts.

 

 Also try Strawberry ricotta apricot mini cakes! 

Strawberry ricotta apricot mini cakes - part cookie part cake, perfect dessert for a summer party! | mitzyathome.com

  • Heather Mason@ Nutty Nutrition

    oh my goodness, these cookies are so pretty! I can’t stop staring at them! So glad I found your blog Alice!

  • Patricija

    Impressive! They look amazing!

  • Theodora Nan

    They look like real peaches. I bet they taste amazing too!

  • Julie

    I made these tonight…the color turned out just like your pictures, and they taste delicious, but I cant get them to stay together. I may have made them too big?

    • Alice

      Hi Julie!
      Have you chilled them for long enough? Right after they’re made they are very fragile and can easily fall apart, so they have to be chilled for hours until the ricotta sets. They also need enough filling – the ricotta is what keeps the two cookies together.
      It is possible that you made them too big and didn’t fill the holes enough, but I can’t be 100% sure without actually seeing them.

      I’m glad you like the taste though and am sorry that they didn’t turn out right.
      Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

  • Nicole

    What camera do you use for your photos? They all look amazing!

  • Kelsey M

    I love it! The mushroom cookie recipe was actually how I first found your blog 🙂

    I hope to give these a try soon~

    -Kelsey

  • Loni B.

    Beautiful!!!!! My goodness- they are like perfection!

  • Sarah

    These are so, so beautiful! The color + the perfect round shape – they are just like real peaches. The sweet ricotta filling must be amazing. Yum!

  • christina

    Haven’t tried these yet but definitely plan to. I’m going to substitute Peach Shnapps for the rum.Can’t wait to bake them tomorrow!

  • Vera

    Hi Alice, I made these and they turned out just gorgeous! Thanks a lot for your great recipe. I posted my photos here and linked back to you: http://www.nicestthings.com/2015/08/pfirsich-kekse-pfirsich-peeling.html Will tag you on Instagram, too 🙂

    • Alice

      Hi Vera! Thank you, I’m happy you like the cookies. I looked at your post and yours are so beautiful!!
      🙂

  • The Finer Cookie

    Hello Alice, I just wanted to let you know that I too made these beautiful cookies and posted them to my cookie blog. I credited my success to you and your well detailed recipe, and linked back to your site. All the best to you and keep up the good work. Your site is beautiful. If you have a moment, please come see what I’m doing. http://www.thefinercookie.com/sweet-ricotta-peach-cookies/2015/8/18/sweet-ricotta-peach-cookies?rq=ricotta

  • Gina Somma

    thankyou for the recipe! I have been making these for years ( my recipe is a little different)and I also fill them with pastry cream, but I will try them with ricotta now!
    I wrap a little ball of dough around the outside of half a walnut shell and put the flat side down on cookie sheets. (I bought a bag of walnuts and gently cracked them open, removed the fruit from inside and use for other recipes) after removing from oven wait a few minutes and while holding them with a kitchen towel remove walnut shell gently by twisting and let them cool down. Now you have a cookie with a big indentation and u won’t have to scoop out anything. When cool, I prepare two bowls one with sugar and one with pink liquor ( I use an Italian liquor Rosso Antico) I dip each half first in liquor and then sugar and put them on cookie sheet with carved part facing the ceiling, when finished I fill each half with cream and press them together. The walnut shells u can keep and use them over and over.

    • Alice

      Thank you, Gina, for sharing your version! I really like the idea of using walnut shells, I might have to try that myself.
      🙂

  • Chelsea

    Alice, these are gorgeous and I really want to make them for my boyfriend’s mother, but she lives in another state.

    A few questions:

    If I gently sealed them (like vacuum, but not enough to crush the cookie) and put them in a tin and overnight shipped them, do you think they would last?

    And if you have any suggestions on how else to do this, please tell me.

    I wanted it to be her Christmas gift because I cannot afford much else, and I’m sure she would love them.

    • Alice

      Hi, Chelsea!
      Aww, that’s such a great gift!
      The only thing that I’m not 100% sure about is the transport temperature. Ricotta gets a lot softer if left in a warm place for too long. I do think that because we are in December and the temperatures are lower, the outside temperature shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      I would definitely wrap them carefully. I would line the tin with tissue paper or paper towels or even bubble wrap, then I would wrap each cookie individually in plastic wrap or tin foil (this would keep them cold longer). When placed in the tin I would fill the space between the cookies with additional bits of paper towels, to act as a buffer.
      And then I would also wrap the tin with extra paper or bubble wrap, put it in a box and use overnight shipping, like you mentioned.

      And then I would hope for the best. I do think that with all the wrapping involved, they would have a really good chance of staying undamaged. Just keep them in the fridge up to the moment you go out & send them. (And maybe write a note to your boyfriend’s mother telling her that if the first cookie is too crumbly and soft, she should chill the rest for a few hours first.)

      Hope this helps! If you end up doing all of this, let me know if all the wrapping worked. My fingers are crossed! 🙂

  • Andie Cumber

    Alice,
    I just wanted to let you know that I made this cookie for my 10th annual cookie exchange and it won best looking cookie!!! I uploaded a picture of them on Facebook and its gotten 99 likes and 43 comments along with several requests for the recipe.

    I can’t tell you how blown away everyone was with them looking like real peaches. Thank you for sharing the recipe and giving step by step instructions.

    For the most part everything was really easy to follow, however I found when I mixed the wet ingredients all at once the dough wasn’t as sticky. Wrapping the dough in plastic wrap and chilling in the refrigerator helped with rolling the dough into balls and when I rolled them on a wooden cutting board I got smoother balls with less cracking during the cooking stage.

    I’m looking forward to checking out more of your recipes!!!

    • Alice

      Wow, congratulations! I’m so happy for you and thanks for making my day.
      Chilling the dough is definitely a good idea for when the dough is too soft, it’s great you did that.

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Andie!

  • JD

    I used to make these with my mom years ago. She filled hers with custard on one side, and a little chocolate pudding in the other side, with an almond in the middle. This is truly edible art!

  • Chelsea

    These look amazing! I’m definitely going to try this recipe!

  • robyn

    do younknow a good substitue for the eggs I want to make these but one of my friends happens to be allergic to eggs.

    • Alice

      Hi Robyn! Unfortunately I haven’t made these without eggs before, so I can’t speak from experience. But after digging around online, the most often mentioned substitute for cookies, and the kind people are happy with, is flax seed.

      To substitute 1 egg with flax seed, grind 1 tablespoon of whole flax seed in a coffee grinder/blender.
      Transfer to a bowl and add 3 tablespoons water. Beat with a fork until it becomes gooey like an egg white.

      For the peach cookies, you’d need a triple amount of that. You could also try making a half-batch first (just divide all ingredients by 2), to see how the flax seed works. I use 2 eggs when making only 1/2 recipe, so that’s 2 TBSPS flaxseeds with 6 TBSPS water.

      Personally, I would also add 1 TBSP of sour cream to the batter and if it ends up being too sticky and not smooth, just keep adding pinches of flour until it is.

      More resources: via The Kitchn

      A long but very detailed article on flax seeds, explains everything in detail, with recipes included: Vegan Baking – flax seed egg replacer

      Hope you find this helpful!

  • Toni Antonucci

    Can these be made ahead and frozen? I’d like to make these for the cookie table for son’s wedding in 2 months. Should I make the cookies ahead and freeze them already scooped out then fill them the day before the wedding or can they be made fully assembled and and frozen?

    • Alice

      Hi Toni! If freezing is a must, then I would freeze scooped out cookies and fill them the day before the wedding. Freezing ricotta worries me because it might release some liquid and you can’t fix that once the cookie is filled, so you risk ruining the whole cookie (making it watery or soggy). But freezing empty cookies should be fine if you put them in an airtight container, but separate the layers with some parchment. You could also freeze them on a baking sheet in a single layer, covered with some plastic wrap.

      Hope this helps! And congratulations on your son’s wedding. 🙂

  • April

    I made these tonight and the cookie portion tastes a little dry. What could I have done wrong?

    • Alice

      Hi, April! The cookie portion moistens after the ricotta has had time to set. Did you scoop out enough of the cookie to add a good amount of filling? The filling to cookie ratio is what could’ve been off in your case, if you made the holes too small?

      And as you color the cookies, they get some of that moisture from the outside too.

      They also do need time to set and soak, because the cookie by itself is somewhat dry. But it needs to be as that’s the only way it can be filled and colored without it falling apart later on.

      Hope this helps! As some time has passed now from your comment, let me know if they’ve improved.

      • April

        Thank you Alice! You are absolutely right! The next morning I tried these and they were perfect! I was worried I made the holes too small but they just needed some time.

        I served them at a peach themed baby shower and they were amazing!

        Thank you for the recipe!

      • Alice

        I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for reporting back, April! 🙂

        P.S. That had to be one cute baby shower!

Rok Benedik s.p. VAT ID SI32294611 ||| Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie