Russian Teacakes

 My grandmother used to make tons of Christmas cookies every year to give out to neighbors and friends.  I remember one year I forced my way into the process (my grandmother doesn't allow for much help in the kitchen).  As I am my grandmother's only grand-daughter, I can get away with that sort of thing.  This was probably when I was in my early teens and just starting to get really into baking and I thought it was such a great tradition. After my brothers get done with this recipe though, there usually aren't enough cookies to give to friends.

My aunt copied out a bunch of the recipes my grandmother uses and this has been one of the most popular with my family ever since.  Pretty much as soon as I get in from Seattle my brothers start asking me about them.  Their other favorite cookies are cinnamonies, which is made by sprinkling left-over pie crust with cinnamon sugar and rolling them up into little cresent cookies.
I like to make my Russian teacakes pretty tiny.  They are mostly butter and powdered sugar (no wonder everyone loves them) so the tend to explode a bit and make a mess.  I make mine small enough so you can pop the whole cookie into your mouth at once. 
We always use walnuts for this.  I used to hate chopping the walnuts and then my mom got a nice set of Wustoff knives and now it is no problem.  My little brother likes the cookies to have larger pieces of walnuts so I don't chop them super finely, but small enough that I can shape them.  My mom used to tell us (and her mom told her) that if you put too much powdered sugar on French toast it would snow.  We of course always wanted it to snow because snow days are the best thing in the world.  I wonder if it works with these guys because they do look like little snowballs, covered in powdered sugar.

Russian Teacakes

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar + extra for rolling, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly.
2. Stir flour and salt together.
3. Blend in to butter mixture.
4. Mix in nuts and chill dough.
5. Heat oven to 400F degrees.
6. Roll dough into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes until set but not brown.
8. While warm roll in powdered sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

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1 comment:

  1. I have a few more recipes for the family cook book. Will send them soon!