Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Russian Tea Cakes (Recipe Included)

I recently made a batch of these tasty little cookies. I have not made them since my last job as a pastry chef, and that was before I had kids, so almost 4 years ago.

I like to change things up when I make cookies. I often tweak things according to my own likes and dislikes. This is a great recipe to switch up. The recipe calls for chopped nuts, but I substituted toasted coconut this time. You can choose any nuts that you like. They are super delicious when made with macadamia nuts! A lot of people also put chopped maraschino cherries in their Russian Tea Cakes. These cookies pair very well with coffee or tea. So, if you want a tasty little cookie for the holidays or to go with coffee when your friend is visiting, these cookies are a great one for you to try.

Russian Tea Cakes appeared in Russia in the 18th century. They were used as a confection in tea-sharing ceremonies. They became quite popular in the US during the 20th century, appearing at weddings and included in Christmas cookie trays. They later became known as "Mexican Wedding Cookies" possibly due to the strained relations with the Soviet Union.

Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add flour and salt. Stir in nuts. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes or until set. Do not let them get brown. Immediately roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar again when cool.

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