Italian Cookies

Oh my god, we accidentally made over 100 cookies tonight. The recipe belongs our friend Dave's mom, who apparently makes cookies in batches of 100s. He fed them to us once, and they are AMAZING amazing. We've been begging for the recipe for weeks, and this morning I received the following email:

Hey Alanna, I've got my mom on the line, and she is running to the kitchen at top speed to get the recipe. It's hand-written on paper that's probably older than me (note the use of the word "oleo," before they knew to call it margarine). I'll type up the transcript best I can, then add some of my mother's finer secrets, as indicated by the asterisks.

The email goes on. The best part about these cookies is the texture, which is soft and melty, thanks to the ricotta. Second to the texture, however, is the fact that you decorate them with sprinkles. And did we mention that they taste amazing? Like warm vanilla sugar deliciousness.

We modified the recipe to make the cookies slightly healthier, and I'm posting our version here. Honestly, we couldn't tell the difference. So yeah, over 100 cookies, and they may be gone by tomorrow.

Ingredients (makes about 100 cookies):
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 lb. smart balance, melted
3 eggs
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 lb. fat-free ricotta cheese (except Dave's mom uses slightly more, so we did too)
1/4 lb. smart balance
3 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together in a small bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the ricotta and vanilla, and mix everything together. Spoon the cookie dough onto baking sheets, making each cookie only about the size of a quarter and keeping at least an inch or two apart because they spread out. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until brown on the bottom (they will still be fairly white on top). To make the icing, add the melted smart balance to the powdered sugar and mix. Mix in the vanilla and milk. When the cookies are cool, ice them and top with sprinkles. Dave says extra points for bakers who decorate in the colors of the Italian flag.