This recipe was submitted to us by Susan O’Dwyer in Harrisville, New Hampshire. We interviewed Susan in 2014 (click here) after she had written as essay for our 35th Anniversary Essay Contest. We asked her for an update about her activities and she shared this:
After making tons of baked ziti for Barry and myself, I wanted another outlet for my sweet, light ricotta. I thought of making Danish but didn’t want to make the flake pastry (very difficult and uses tons of butter) but I wanted something sweet since this particular ricotta is so light and delicious. I came upon Italian ricotta cookies and they fit the bill. I changed them up a little and made them more to our liking. I freeze them as soon as we’ve eaten our share and pop one in my husband’s lunch box everyday until they are gone. I eat plenty of them too. They are wonderful after I come in from milking with a fresh cup of steaming coffee. I like to dunk!
Nowadays, I am milking our sweet Jersey cow, Heidi and I have become, exclusively, a Farmstead Artisan Cheese Maker. I use every little drop (except what we consume) of Heidi’s milk to make cheese. I have a cheese cave downstairs with about 30 cheeses in it, aging and I sell our cheese at the farmer’s market of Keene. You can visit their Facebook page or my Lone Wolf Cheese Facebook page.
I call my cheese, “Lone Wolf Cheese” since I do all the work myself and really love all that is involved. I make a cheese about every 3 to 4 days in mid to late lactation but almost every other day in early lactation. Heidi is a real nice cow and has never lifted her leg to me and only stuck her foot in the bucket once when a kitten jumped on her back while I was milking.
I planned to have the farm (as tiny as it is) at this point when I retired, and that is what I did one year ago when I became 66. We started making the farm 5 years ago which worked out as planned.
On some of my days off, I play the piano at local nursing homes, I substitute teach at local schools which works out real well for me since I taught art and music for the Nelson Elementary school before I was grabbed away to teach physics at Keene HS while the regular physics teacher took her maternity leave (I got my degree in biology from Rutgers University in NJ when I was 46 years old), math at Monadnock HS (the teacher had to deal with an illness) and finally general science at Keene Middle School. I also continue to write and illustrate children’s books which is what I did to support my family while attending Rutgers and when I first moved to New England as a single mom until computer graphics became the new way to do artwork which took away my income. That is when I started teaching.
My husband and I happily care for our little farm, all the chickens, our one cow, our berry bushes, fruit trees and perennial flowers and honeybee hives. I make jam and bake a lot and especially, make hard cheeses. My very favorite recipes are those from Jim Wallace, your wonderful, brilliant, talented and well traveled Cheese Man. I create my own recipes and they are delicious, too and I will continue as is until who knows when!
Whenever I make Jim’s Canestrato my husband looks forward to coming home from work and having my Iced Ricotta cookies. They are somewhat healthy because of the cheese and eggs, especially if they’re all from one’s own farm, as they are in my house.
Iced Ricotta Cookies
By Susan O’Dwyer
You need to preheat the oven to 350F and move the oven rack to the middle position (as the old rule, the top of what you are cooking should be in the center of the oven).
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (or butter)
15 ounces of homemade well drained ricotta (from Jim’s Canestrato rcipe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
On low speed, mix sugar and shortening (or butter) until well blended. Beat this for 5 minutes at high speed to make it fluffy.
At medium speed, beat in ricotta, vanilla and eggs until well combined.
At low speed add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat this until it is dough like.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop large blops of batter (hefty tablespoons full) about 3 inches apart onto the parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, invest in some-you will never do without it again. Or, don’t grease the cookie sheet- just put batter right on it.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will be golden brown on the bottom.
Let them sit on the sheet another 3 minutes if using the lesser time or just to make sure they are cooked through.
Cool on a cookie cooling rack and ice with glaze. Yummy!!!
To make the glaze:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon
3 to 4 tablespoons of milk (to be added sparingly until the right spreadable consistency, not too runny).
Cool on a cookie cooling rack and ice with glaze. Yummy!!