Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Russian Tea Cakes

December 2011 115

This Saturday morning, I woke to one of the most lovely things you can see the week before Christmas: a light dusting of snow falling merrily from the sky.  I promptly donned my boots, coat, and obnoxious drug store Santa hat, grabbed a ladder, and went out to the front of the building to put up a few twinkly lights.

December 2011 111

Our Christmas decorations went up a little at time this year.  After Thanksgiving, I brought up the box from the basement, and we've just been taking a few things out and putting them up around the house when we have spare moments.  The advent wreath was first.  Then a funny little snowman who counts down the days until Christmas.  We got a tree, and then a few days later, decorated it with lights.  A few days after that, we finally got around to the ornaments.  It's been really nice.

Christmas Stockings

December 2011 146

Russian tea cakes are my all-time favorite Christmas cookie.  The instant hit of sweetness when you bite through the outer layer of powdered sugar, the tender, crumbly cookie, the crunchy walnuts.  They are practically perfect in every way.

December 2011 117

Russian Tea Cakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons powdered sugar (plus 1 cup extra for rolling)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low until well incorporated.  Scoop a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll it into a ball between your palms.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until cookies are just set and barely beginning to brown on the bottom edges.  Remove from oven, allow to cool 2 minutes on the pan and roll in powdered sugar while still hot.  Cool completely.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Note: In an airtight container, these keep well for at least a week.  They have never lasted that long in our house.


  1. These are almost exactly like Mexican wedding cookies.

    I was going to joke that the difference was that the Russian ones tasted like oppression, poverty, and drugs, but that would really apply to Mexico as well.

    Oh, and I'm sure these taste lovely, not like poverty and drugs at all.

    I'm going to stop commenting now.

  2. My very favorite cookie. My sister makes them every Christmas and I eat them like popcorn :(