These Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies are lightly sweetened and spiced with cinnamon. Flakey, crisp, and addictive. Perfect for fall baking and afternoon snacks! Egg free!
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There are certain recipes that bring back memories of childhood. You bite into a cake and for a second you are five years old, running into the kitchen for an afternoon snack.
You lick a spoon and suddenly your long-forgetten grade school friend laughs and smiles and chases you outside after lunch.
Food is the ultimate time-machine. There’s no need for physics or magic. You just need a smell, a taste and you are transported back.
These Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies are my personal time machine. They aren’t what I grew up eating but they are a variation of a classic Russian recipe for Farmers Cheese Cookies.
These absolutely delicious Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies are crisp and flakey out of the oven but then they become soft and caky as they sit. They are spiced with cinnamon and are perfect for all the fall baking. I mean, pumpkin, cinnamon, what else would you want in the fall?
The cookies are only very lightly sweetened. Because there’s so little sugar in these fall cookies, I don’t mind giving one (or sometimes two) of them to my toddler for a snack.
These cookies are also egg-free and relatively healthy (for a cookie)!
Totally addictive! You won’t be able to stop at just one!
These kind of cheese cookies are often called in Russia “Goose feet” which is because of their funny triangular shape.
What are the ingredients in Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies
Traditional recipe for these cookies calls for Farmers Cheese and although it is very readily available in most grocery stores, I chose to use a more common Ricotta to make the cookies more accessible to everyone.
These cookies are also egg-free, so they are great for those who have egg allergies.
You will need:
How to make Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies
Making these delicious Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies is easy but a little bit time consuming.
- Mix in butter and ricotta with a fork. Great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need to make sure that the butter is ice cold.
- Add the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, and mix more.
- Add the flour, baking powder and combine.
- Knead a couple of times to form a smooth dough.
- Cut out circles.
- Dip into a cinnamon sugar mixture, fold, dip, fold, dip.
Wait, what about sugar in the dough for the Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies?
It is not a mistake. There’s actually no sugar in the dough!!! Sugar is only used for dipping the cookies before baking.
The resulting cookies are very lightly sweetened! And this is exactly how they are supposed to be!
However, if you cannot fathom cookies that aren’t sweet, feel free do add 1/4 cup sugar to the dough. You might want to add more but I would start with 1/4 cup first.
Ok, talk to me about butter in the dough!
So, I’ve made these cookies with cold butter right from the fridge and with room temperature butter. Both types of cookies taste the same. The difference is in texture.
- Cold butter creates a more flakey cookie. Similar a bit to pie dough.
- Room temperature butter creates softer cookie.
You can choose whatever you like. I usually get the butter out of the fridge and let it sit while I measure the rest of the ingredients. This means that the butter gets softened just a little bit so that it’s easy to mix with a fork but it’s still cold enough that it produces a flakey cookie.
Flour: how much does it weigh?
This is something that I’ve been struggling with since I created my Instant Pot No Knead Dinner Rolls.
For the past four months I’ve been compulsively weighing and measuring my flour. No matter what I do, no matter the weather or humidity, no matter the brand of flour, no matter the measuring cup I use, 1 cup of flour weighs 150-160g for me. ALWAYS!
It is NOT what most websites say. Online measurements say that 1 cup must weigh 120g. I was never able to achieve this!!!
Interestingly enough, I actually googled how much 1 cup of flour should weigh in Russian and all Russian links say that it should weigh 150-160g. Exactly how I measure the flour. Weird?
Another interesting point is that I actually found references in cookbooks to flour weighing 150g for 1 cup. That’s what Anna Olson, who is a Canadian pastry chef, says.
This is all to say that I use 1 cup of flour in my recipe but that cup of flour weighs about 150-160g!
Ingredients and variations for Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies
- Make sure you use unsalted butter. It could be either cold (recommended) or room temperature.
- For a more authentic Russian recipe, use Farmers cheese. If the farmers cheese is really firm, you might need to add an egg.
- Pumpkin Purée
- It is used to replace an egg, so if you don’t like pumpkin purée or don’t have it, you can omit it and use 1 egg instead. Make sure to adjust the flour a bit.
- Cinnamon and pumpkin are a classic combination but you can totally omit it.
- Make sure to read my comments about the weight vs volume of flour for this recipe.
- Sugar is only used for dipping the cookies in and not in the dough. If you like sweeter cookies, add 1/4 cup of sugar to the dough.
What to do with leftover pumpkin purée?
- Pumpkin pretzels
- Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Pudding Cake
- Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding
And if you love using pumpkin in unusual way, you must purchase my book, The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook, I have a few recipes with a very unique use of pumpkin.
Watch the video to see exactly how to shape and fold the Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies. Also, a fun piece of info about the video, even though I am wearing a sweater in it, it was actually about+30C (+86F) that day. Life of a food blogger…
These Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies are lightly sweetened and spiced with cinnamon. Flakey, crisp, and addictive | imagelicious.com #cookies #fallbaking #pumpkin #pumpkinrecipes #russiancookies
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
While the oven is preheating, make the cookie dough.
In a medium bowl, combine the unsalted butter and ricotta, mash together with a fork. If you are using cold butter, the mixture will not be smooth, it is exactly how it's supposed to be.
Add the pumpkin purée and cinnamon, mix so that pumpkin is incorporated.
Add the flour and baking powder, mix until a dough forms.
Turn the dough onto a floured working surface and knead a few times to get it smooth.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough until it's about 1/4 inch (about 0.5 cm) thick or even a bit thinner. Add flour as needed so that it doesn't stick to the surface.
Using a round cookie cutter dipped in flour (or a glass or a mason jar) that is 2.5 inch (about 7 cm) in diameter, cut out round cookies.
In a small shallow dish, mix together the sugar and cinnamon for dipping the cookies.
Dip each round cookie circle into the cinnamon sugar on one side.
Fold in half with the sugar inside.
Dip the half moon into the cinnamon sugar just on one side.
Fold in half with the sugar inside.
Finally, dip the resulting triangle into the cinnamon sugar on one side and place on a baking sheet sugar side up.
See video for the detailed description on how to fold the cookies properly!
Repeat with all the cookie circles. Re-roll the leftover dough and repeat.
Bake for 30 minutes.
I prefer to use cold butter as it results in flaky texture of the Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies, however, you need to use a bit of force when combining the cold butter with the ricotta using a fork.
You can use room temperature butter to make the process easier, but the texture will be softer and not flakey.
Flour: I use 1 cup of flour that weighs 150 g. Not, 120 g. Use enough flour to make a soft and pliable dough that is not sticky!