3 lbs ricotta cheese
4 ounces unsalted butter
2 12 cups sugar
2 12 cups non-fat powdered milk
1 12 cups coarsely crushed almonds
2 teaspoons crushed cardamom
6 edible silver foil, garnish (Varak) (optional)
Cook the Ricotta cheese and butter on low to medium heat. (Sometimes the Ricotta splatters; keep it half covered at low to medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning.) After about 1/2 hour, stir in the sugar and dry milk. Cook, while stirring, until the Ricotta is of dry consistency, like paste that can be easily spread (10 to 15 minutes). Mix in the almonds and crushed cardamom. Spread in a non-stick 12x18" cookie sheet, about 1/3 inches thick. Pat gently with wax paper or spatula to make it even. Cover with the varak sheets for decorative look. Cut into squares or diamond shape when cool. Store in the refrigerator. Variation: Cook the Ricotta in the microwave oven, starting with 5 minutes at high. You can also cook it in the conventional oven. May add about 1/2 cup cocoa powder along with sugar to give chocolate taste and look. Or add about 1 cup slightly roasted and ground sesame seeds, along with other nuts, towards the end of cooking.