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Recipe: Russian Tea Cakes


These little buttery-nutty sugar balls are just yummy! I got this recipe from my Mother who has no idea where she got it… it’s a great addition to a cookie plate so I just had to include it in my recipes here… they are very quick to make.

The original recipe calls for 1 stick of unsalted butter and 1 stick of margarine… I only had unsalted butter so that’s what I used… they were terrific so I wrote the recipe using only butter… you can try it the other way… but why fool with perfection!

A word of caution… they tend to be dry… so make sure you don’t make them too big… I popped one from the first batch in my mouth and almost choked to death between the powder and the dry cookie…so I measured what I was rolling and they were closer to 2 inches than 1 inch balls… you definitely want 1 inch balls. The smaller balls are just perfect.

The dough tends to be crumbly… I had to work it a bit with my hands… as you roll them, squeeze gently, the butter in the dough starts to keep things together from the warmth of your hands.

Bake them for the exact time… 10 minutes… they don’t look done… trust me they are…

The recipe calls for finely chopped walnuts, I also experimented with finely chopped hazelnuts… we happen to like hazelnuts so I figured I’d give it a try… I’m glad I did… I think I like them better made with hazelnuts. Give either version a try… their very easy and quick to make… you won’t be sorry you did.

Russian Tea Cake Recipe:

All you need:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup walnuts finely ground
Coating: 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

All you need to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and salt until blended. You will have to scrape the sides of the bowl and beater (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment).

On low speed, beat in flour and walnuts just until blended.

Roll tablespoons of the dough into smooth 1 inch balls.

Place the balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes or until firm (cookies crack slightly..that’s okay.. you didn’t do anything wrong).

Put the 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar for coating into a wide bowl… (TIP: I would start with 1 cup and refill bowl as necessary.. I didn’t need the 2 cups to coat mine and I had too much waste)

After taking the balls out of the oven..put a few at a time in your bowl with the confectioner’s sugar. Roll them gently around with a teaspoon to coat.

Remove the balls and place on a cooling rack to cool.

When cool, roll again in the confectioner’s sugar.

Store in an air tight container (make sure they are completely cool before putting the lid on the container).

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