Friday, July 2, 2010


I'm sure you've had these under some crazy name, that you will uphold is the true and correct one, but I call them Russian Tea Cakes. They also go by Mexican Wedding Cookie, Snowdrop, Viennese Sugar Ball and Italian Butter Nut. But, whichever way you put it, they are delicious melting morsels of nutty goodness. :)I've made these many times over the years, with different nuts substituted in from almonds to walnuts to the pecans I used today. They're a simple shortbread-style cookie that is then rolled in powdered sugar. Twice. Yep, they're heavenly. One of my favorite things about making them is that there is no waiting necessary after they come out of the oven. You have to roll them in powdered sugar straightaway for the first coating and then wait till they cool a bit for the second time around. So you get to play with hot, sugary cookies (and not-so-sneakily eat a couple) and they don't have to look perfectly coated either time since you get 2 tries to perfect them! :)
These are typically a holiday cookie, but I don't really believe in baked goods having a set season. (With the exception of physically not being able to find some fruits during some seasons, of course) But if I want gingerbread and its halfway through July- you better believe I'll whip some up!
My second week of work was quite a success and I feel so good about being productive and I am REALLY happy to have a luxurious 3-day weekend ahead of me (we get Monday off!) so I am going to sit back and relax with one of my favorite movies (I know it's cliched!) Julie and Julia.

Russian Tea Cakes
(Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2004)
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar (Plus more for rolling cookies)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degree F.
  2. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla then gradually add the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, then sift again with the salt (I just whisked them together in a separate bowl). Add gradually to the butter mixture. Add the pecans and mix well.
  3. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and roll in powdered sugar while still hot. Cool on wire racks and roll cookies again in powdered sugar before serving. (About 1-2 hours later)
  4. Once they are completely cooled, cookies may be stored in airtight containers for up to a week.
And since I have this wonderfully long weekend, I have some very special baking planned for my free time. :) I hope you enjoy the tea cakes!

Happy Baking!

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