Desserts Recipes

Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies

These Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies are the most impressive dessert you’ll ever make and people won’t stop talking about it. Tender cookies are filled with whipped ricotta, dyed pink and rolled in sugar to resemble mini peaches.

These ricotta peach cookies are a family favorite. Also known as Italian peaches or Pesche Dolci and Slovenian Breskvice, they are usually served for holidays and special celebrations (think weddings, birthday parties, etc). They are more than just cookies, they are an impressive dessert that look like a bite-sized peach.

A few notes on origin

Traditionally, Slovenian peaches are filled with a mixture of cookie crumbs, jam and ground nuts. Even our old family cookbook (more like a recipe notebook, ripped at the edges because it’s so old) has this version written in it. And if you find them at a store in Slovenia, that’s what you’ll get. In my opinion, this nutty mixture is a perfectly delectable filling. You’ll never see me say no to a peach like that, if I can get my hands on it

But as I was flipping through Southern Italian Desserts, I found an Italian recipe for peaches. Forget about the nuts, the chocolate, the jam. Italian peaches are filled with ricotta (Pesche Dolci Sicilliane). RICOTTA! That was just the biggest revelation for me. Why not use ricotta? The thought alone made my mouth water.

Of course there are even more versions of peaches out there. If you search for a recipe for European peaches online, you’ll get many hits. Mainly from Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. That is completely understandable, because of our shared history. And food is a big part of culture and history. There’s nothing more personal than the food we eat

What exactly is a peach cookie dessert?

Peach cookies, or peaches as we like to call them, are like cookie sandwiches, when you really look at them. You have two cookies, their crunchy exterior, hiding soft and divine ricotta as filling.

The secret is in the hollow cookies. Part of the inside of every cookie is scooped out, to make room for the fluffy ricotta. This is what glues the halves together and what makes these cookies incredibly juicy and flavorful.

The ricotta is infused with plenty of orange zest, that gives the whole cookie an incredible citrus aroma. We also add vanilla and sugar to it, to make it that more delicious. If you know ricotta, you know it’s very mild in flavor. So adding a few of these things really brings it to life.

Than you take this round ricotta stuffed cookie sandwich, brush it with rum (or peach liqueur) and roll it in sugar. The shell is then coated with crunchy sugar crystals, that give the appearance of peach fuzz. At this point you no longer have an ordinary cookie sandwich. Instead it looks like a mini peach dessert.
What to do if you’re making these for the first time

If you don’t have an oven thermometer and you don’t know how your oven acts, I advise you to bake a test batch:

Make about 6 balls and place them on a baking sheet. Scatter them all over, so that you cover all sides of the oven. Set the temperature to 350°F and bake them for 8-10 minutes. The bottoms should be golden brown, the tops pale and smooth. If they crack horribly, you’ll know to reduce the temperature. If they’re fine, you’ll know you can bake the rest of the cookies the same way.

There’s no way that I can be 100% sure about how your oven works. I’ll further test this recipe (possibly in a different oven too), but baking a test batch first is the safest way to go. In the end, you’ll still end up with plenty of cookies, whether the test batch bakes perfectly or not.

Because the cookie part is just the beginning of this peach dessert. You need a good base, before you start the assembly, so take your time.

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