Saturday, March 30, 2013

Russian Tea Cakes



If there is a top ten list of my favorite cookies in the world, the Russian Tea Cakes would be in that list.  Okay, you have probably heard these called – Mexican Wedding Cookies or Snowball Cookies. All of these have the same premise – butter, flour, nuts and powdered sugar as the primary ingredients.  I just know they melt in your mouth and it is hard to limit yourself to one or two.

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According to Wikipedia, Russian tea cakes appeared in Russia in the 18th century as a confection used in a tea-sharing ceremony. By the 20th century, they were a part of wedding and Christmas traditions in the U.S., known by their popular "Russian tea" name. Mexican Wedding Cookies, and Bizcochitos, the official cookie of the State of New Mexico, are similar except that they have the addition of anise, although, properly made, the anise flavor is very mild. Many cultures have a similar cookie. In Spain, they are called Mantecados.


I know you are probably thinking, aren't these just to be enjoyed during the holidays.  I say unequivocally – these delights should be enjoyed year round.  Why have to wait until the holidays.  Hubby adores these cookies and they are one of the most requested cookie recipes I make.  So why wait – I decided to make them now.  Enjoy!


Russian Tea Cakes 

1 C. Butter
2 t. Vanilla
½ C. Powdered sugar
½ t. Salt
2 C. Flour
1 C. Toasted and chopped pecans

1 Box powdered sugar for coating the cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In an electric mixer, add the butter and cream together.  Once fluffy, add the vanilla, salt and powdered sugar.  Cream again.  Then slowly add the flour and blend well.  Final step, add the pecans and mix.  Chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Form into one inch balls.  Place an inch apart on a non-stick cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until the bottom of the cookies is golden brown.  Let cool for 4 to 5 minutes.

In a large plastic bag, pour half the box of powdered sugar.  Gently add the warm cookies and work the sugar around them by gently flipping the bag around to cover.  Let sit for a few minutes and repeat the process.  Once sufficiently coated, then place onto a large plate to cool.  Best to store in a sealed container

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies


19 comments:

  1. These look wonderful, Lisa! I love that dusting of powered sugar!

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  2. Melt in your mouth is always a good thing! These look fantastic, I would so love to have a few right now with a cup of tea. (Notice I didn't say I'd like "one") :)

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  3. I don't think there are any rules stating that certain sweets can only be enjoyed during certain seasons - if such rules do exist, it's fun to be a rebel! :D These Russian tea cakes look scrumptious! (Love your antique spoons too!!)

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  4. OH, SO PRETTY!! I love these little cookies, and there's no way I would wait until "the holidays" to have them again. :-)

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  5. LOVE these! Its amazing how almost every culture has a variation of these nutty cookies! Happy Easter & Hope you are enjoying Spring Lisa!

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  6. How can you not love these little cookies...they almost melt in your mouth.

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  7. Hi Lisa! I just found your blog and it looks like we have the same interests -- food and wine!

    These cookies look delish! Sometimes it's nice to stick with a simple, traditional cookie - instead of all that fancy stuff.

    xo Jackie
    www.FoodWineFashion.com

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  8. Yummy cookies Lisa, hope your Easter was special!

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  9. Yeah, I've heard the many international names these little cookies / cake balls have been called. No matter what name it is, I am definitely excited to try my hand at these. The magic of simple ingredients like these...so worth it!

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  10. I totally agree, Lisa! I'm so happy to see these other than at the holidays...they are just too good of a cookie to come out only at Christmas! They look delicious! Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

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  11. These are my favorites too!!! I do admit to only making them around the Christmas holidays ..I don't know why? Maybe I'm thinking they sort of look like snow balls!? Anyway-they look delicious;-)

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  12. Lisa, Russian Tea cookies are too hard to resist! My grandmother always made me kourabiedes, the Greek version. All the powdered sugar and butter... ahhhhh....
    Hope you're well and that you had a good Easter!
    xo
    E

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  13. Hello. Visiting from Vintage Country Marketplace FB page and just had to follow since I really like what I see. Happy Hearts are Creative Hearts...

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  14. These have always been a favorite and a staple on my Mom's side of the family. Yours look perfect!

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  15. First day on your blogspot and already made this divine recipe...but i already had toasted almonds on hand ready to go, so i made the simple substitution. SO GOOD! Raves from the fiance and co-workers...not to mention i probably polished off half a dozen, ack!

    Thanks for sharing, i have a large bag of walnuts, pecans, and almonds to get through so I will definitely make these more often to try n put a dent in my stock!

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  16. i love Russian tea cakes. Being born in Romania, I grew up eating some of these, only later, after coming to US I learned they are also called Mexican cookies. Either way, I could eat a dozen in one sitting. I heart these cookies!

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  17. Hands down, one of my favorite cookies ever. I would even say top 3? Yours are gorgeous, of course. So perfectly snowball like. I agree that these should be enjoyed year round. Each time I see them in a bakery I have to buy a few and they never last long. :)

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  18. I don't think I've ever had these. They look awesome, though. And so pretty! Thanks for the history lesson. I love it when people include stuff like that. :)

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