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Ricotta-Cheese Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine or butter (2 sticks), softened
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
red and green sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer at low
speed, beat sugar and margarine or butter until blended. Increase
speed to high; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At
medium speed, beat in ricotta, vanilla, and eggs until well combined.
Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat until
dough forms. Drop dough by level tablespoons, about 2 inches apart,
onto ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake about 15 minutes or until
cookies are very lightly golden (cookies will be soft). With pancake
turner, remove cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining
dough. When cookies are cool, prepare icing: In small bowl, stir
confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. With small metal
spatula or knife, spread icing on cookies; sprinkle with red or
green sugar crystals. Set cookies aside to allow icing to dry
completely, about 1 hour.


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