No cookie baking marathon at my house is complete without making at least one batch of Russian Teacakes. After putting the batter for Chocolate Crinkles in the refrigerator I made the dough for this recipe, a favorite of my family for many years.
These cookies were introduced to me by my husband. We got a Betty Crocker cookbook as a wedding present and it included a recipe for Russian Teacakes. My husband urged me to try them. He had fond memories of his mother baking Russian Teacakes for their family over the years. I tried them and they were truly wonderful!
These cookies have so much going for them. They are pretty, festive and keep well. The dough is easy to prepare and does not have to chill before shaping. I use a small cookie scoop to make the balls of dough and then place them directly on the cookie sheet. Pretty easy! And, they are 1-inch balls placed 1-inch apart so the whole batch can be baked fairly quickly.
Though my family has grown over the years, when I mention baking Christmas cookies, Russian Teacakes are still usually the first cookie my family requests. As soon as they are out of the oven and rolled in sugar my family gladly and quickly devours them. I have to be careful to tuck enough away to serve holiday guests.
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups white or whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup finely chopped nuts
Mix butter, ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
Combine flour, salt and nuts. Add this to the butter mixture and blend until dough holds together.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until set but not brown - 10 to 12 minutes.
Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and set on a wire rack to cool. After cookies are cooled, or just before serving, roll the cookies in powdered sugar again.
Yield: approximately 4 dozen cookies.
Note: This recipe can be made with any type of nut. I generally use walnuts but if I only have pecans available I use them instead. I think almonds or hazelnuts would work equally well if finely ground.